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Yasmin Williams' astonishing fingerpicking prowess shines through on her exquisite new instrumental, Virga

Yasmin Williams
(Image credit: Zach Pigg)

Overflowing with pristine, unforgettable melodies, rich acoustic fingerstyle work, and breathtaking displays of technical skill, Yasmin Williams' latest album, Urban Driftwood, is one of 2021's most strikingly original guitar-based albums – acoustic or electric. 

We're thrilled then, to be premiering a video of Williams performing a brand-new composition, Virga, at Third Man Records in Nashville.

Harp guitar in hand, Williams simply puts on a fingerpicking masterclass, creating a driving rhythm that doesn't let up for a second (even, remarkably, while she transitions from playing upright to laying the guitar on her lap – twice!) and a luscious, varied landscape of crystalline harmonics, beautifully melodic figures and booming bass notes from the harp guitar's top neck. 

You can check out the masterful performance below.

"A virga is a meteorological phenomenon where streaks of rain hang from a cloud and evaporate before reaching the ground,” Williams said in a statement. 

“I wrote Virga as a reflection and meditation on how the year 2020 went for me personally and how I was looking forward to the start of 2021. While a virga can be quite beautiful, it can also be very dangerous; I related this concept to my anticipation of 2021 and how, while I was thrilled 2020 was coming to an end, I was cautious at how the new year would begin.”

Virga is part of a series of new instrumental pieces from Williams, Simone Dinnerstein, John Carroll Kirby, Green-House, Claire Rousay and William Tyler that were released today as Amazon Originals.

If the piece, understandably, leaves you curious about Williams' music, give our interview with her from July a read.

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.