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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Native Sibling

Kaylee Williams, 22, is a senior hydrology major at UC Davis. She and her brother Ryan, 24, make up the band The Native Sibling. Their new EP, titled Follow Trees, is a soothing “folk-Americana” song.

Williams studied abroad from August 2010 to July 2011 in Ireland and said that she found some type of identity while away from her home in Santa Cruz. It was in Ireland that she learned about Irish music and about what she really values.

“[The song ‘Follow Trees’] came from traveling in Ireland,” Williams said. “The concept is home and to not take home for granted.”

Unlike her brother Ryan, who attended and graduated from the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, Kaylee didn’t know that she wanted to pursue music seriously until her Ireland trip. She says she has always loved piano and took lessons at UC Davis until her sophomore year, but stopped due to her heavy class load.

“I want to get music out of my system,” said Williams about her future after Davis.

At UC Davis, Williams started off as a civil engineering major because she thought it would suit her love of numbers, but after switching to hydrology, she realized that what she is most interested in is conservation and music.

“I learn from both,” Williams said. “Hydrology and music work together for me [and] I feel that my major chose me.”

Both Kaylee and Ryan came from a home where appreciation for music was instilled in them quite early. Their grandma played the piano, and their parents signed them up for music lessons.

“It’s a joint effort for the writing of our songs,” Williams said. “We share ideas with each other.”

The Native Sibling consists of Kaylee, Ryan, a drummer, a fiddle player and a mandolin player, but this band has no manager and is currently self-promoting. After the EP arrives, the band wants to see if smaller labels will pick up their project.

“When people listen to our music, I want them to think about what’s important to them and to pursue what is important to them,” Williams said.

When Williams isn’t working on music with The Native Sibling, she works at a local farm because she likes the idea of sustainable agriculture. She is also involved in playing music at church and loves all different genres of music from Rascal Flatts to classical music to Blind Pilot.

“You get to a place like college and decide if [church] is what you want to believe,” Williams said. “And to me it’s important.”

This self-reflective aspect of Kaylee shines throughout the band’s song “Follow Trees,” with lyrics such as “How long to wait for a light to take as our guide / The setting sun collapsed it surely will rise / With a ticket to dispense for all of our lives.”

“We [the band] have a joking dream about where we want the band to be in the future,” Williams said. “We want a VW bus, we want to travel, play shows and camp. Right now we want to try and spread our songs along the West Coast.”

The Native Sibling’s Facebook page can be found at  facebook.com/TheNativeSibling.

KARINA CONTRERAS can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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