Is there anything he can’t do?
Matty Pywell
17:50 5th August 2020

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When an artist gets dropped by a label it can sometimes be career defining for all the wrong reasons, but for Willie J Healey it’s quite the opposite, a potential low has instead seen him bounce to a greater high. Now signed to YALA! Records, Willie J is back with an outstanding second record.

On Twin Heavy we see Willie as an everyman. No need to adhere to a single genre across the entirety of a record, he flits between 70s rock, indie pop and even the odd bit of psychedelia and that can sometimes be within the span of a single song. For the first time whilst recording Willie got hold of a baritone guitar, transferring the tuning to a regular six string, of which the track ‘True Stereo’ benefits from greatly, producing some of his sharpest riffs yet.

There are treads into science fiction, ‘Condo’ uses tractor beam-like synth as the musician describes somebody who, “looks just like a moonbeam”. ‘Twin Heavy’ covers a range of song writing bases, there are laments for love, swaggering 70s rock trips and self-referential moments to previous songs. On the surface Willie J is an optimist, sat on his cloud and elevating you to his level, but there are subtle flickers of darker context, references to anxiety, loneliness and heartache which come to ground his narratives in reality.

One track that ignores said subtlety however, is ‘Why You Gotta Do It’, a more fabled approach that tells you that money does not guarantee happiness, but sometimes earning a little bit of cash can get you closer to where you want to be. Across the record the singer injects his enthused personality with clippings of humour, an easily likeable artist whose music seems to project a real sense of his authentic self. On Twin Heavy you’re left wondering if there’s anything Willie J Healey can’t do?

Twin Heavy is released on 7 August 2020 via YALA! Records. 

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