Reflecting on a Past Life Lived as a Wanderer Through Alexander William’s “Cuffley”
Released on June 3rd, “Cuffley” is from Australian poet and songwriter Alexander William. It tells a classic journeyman tale, describing William’s time in London as he looked for a fresh start after a wrenching break-up.
Growing up, William has always had a fascination for fingerstyle guitar. Ben Howard’s tunes is noted as one of the bigger inspirations for him, and allowed his sound to evolve into varied tunings and a rich folky sound that he has come to perfect today. The lyrical side of his songs carries the rhythms from old Irish and Scottish realms, including figures like Leonard Cohen. Songs that convey a story is the niche that William fits into perfectly, and in the case of “Cuffley,” it tells of how he left Africa after an extended stay with nothing to do but wander, work, and write. Now, since William was offered a deal with Nettwerk, he uses music as a way to express what can’t be explained.
The most addicting aspect of “Cuffley” is its satisfying main guitar melody. Though only a few notes, the short riff arrangement works in such a manner that is perfect for the mood of the song and the message that is trying to be conveyed. With nothing to do and no where to go, the track gives us the imagery of a 19 year old spending his time in train setting, and offers a glimpse into the tranquility that comes with a rare moment of freedom, a long ways from home. Of course, a wanderer can only be one until that same home calls once more, beckoning a return. William focuses on how journeys then become cherished memories, and even lessons learned, making “Cuffley” bittersweet, yet hopeful for what’s to come.