KCRW’s Private Playlist: Vinyl Williams

KCRW’s Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. Vinyl Williams is the musical alias of Lionel Williams, a multimedia artist, producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. An LA native, Williams is the scion of a considerable musical lineage — his grandfather is composer John Williams and both parents were also musicians. He adopted the Vinyl Williams moniker in 2007 and began producing what he calls “celestial pop” — a wildly idiosyncratic and original brew of dream-pop, neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, and math-rock. His second EP, “Ultimate World,” prompted a write-up from The Guardian, who featured the group as their “New Band of the Day” in March 2012. In 2013, Williams began producing richly immersive and psychedelic interactive music videos. A standout was a multimedia collaboration with Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi) titled “Trance Zen Dental Spa” in 2014. His subsequent video directing work has included Unknown Mortal OrchestraMedicine, and Tears For Fears. Over five albums, his own music has become increasingly more expansive, complex, and masterful, most recently with the release of 2020’s “Azure.”