It's been more than two years since the Civil Wars stopped making music, and as Joy Williams has set out on a solo career, she's enlisted help from an unexpected source: Justin Timberlake.

Williams and Timberlake met backstage at The David Letterman Show years ago and kept in touch. And while Timberlake himself didn't work with Williams on her new single, the tribal-sounding "Woman (Oh Mama)," he did put her in touch with one of the song's co-writers, Matt Morris.

"I was describing [to Timberlake] the process of getting a certain distance on the record that I was happy about but feeling like there was another distance that I had yet to go, to push myself. He said, 'I think you need to meet Matt,'" Williams tells "Matt and I met for coffee one day, and it was immediate kinship, with immediate creative connections. It was the breath of fresh air I really needed to find myself in the solo process."

Timberlake, who transitioned from his time with *NSYNC into a highly successful solo career, has also proven a helpful friend as Williams herself moves from a career in a duo to one as a solo artist.

"It was nice to have a friend who understood what it was like to move from a successful entity, like a group, into a successful solo career," Williams says. "I took comfort in the way we could dialogue about what that transition was like."

Williams co-wrote "Woman (Oh Mama)" the first single off of her upcoming album, Venus, with Morris and Audra Mae. The new project incorporates a lot of what Williams learned as part of the Civil Wars, and the singer says that she was careful not to reject her experience with the duo.

""Woman (Oh Mama)" is like that first conversation you have on a first date. Everything's kind of meta, and it's the invitation to a deeper conversation," she says. "I wanted to take the best parts of what I learned from being in the Civil Wars and bring it into a new space where I could infuse more of my influences ... I've brought my story with me, not tried to reject it."

Venus is expected to be released this summer. "Woman (Oh, Mama)" is available for download on iTunes.

Listen to Joy Williams, "Woman (Oh, Mama)":

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