I don’t know what happens. Every time I sit down to write a review of an album with happy guitars in, all I can think of is summer. Does that make me underqualified and shit? Absolutely, but here, you listen to the tories soo…
Anyway, let’s get the reason you came, Willie J Healey.
It’s a strange one with Willie. When I first heard his track My Room, I was immediately a fan, but when I tried to spread the joy, not many people got it, and I never got why people didn’t get it. Still don’t.
Maybe because he’s a bit unvarnished, a bit raw, messy. Or it could be because the lyrics are…
My room got a bed in the middle
My place got a rug by the window
I hate everyone
Long day lose your head to the pillow
Floating in my cereal
I hate everyoneThe full lyrics to My Room
… that he hates everyone.
If you’ve not heard My Room yet, please listen to it. I’ll fight you as well if you give it any grief.
RIGHT, 192 words in we’ll crack on.
It’s been three years since Willie released People and Their Dogs and he’s dodged the snare that many bands fall prey to on their second release. The deathly fate of overproduction. It’s as if there’s a huge fear that looms over artists on their follow up that the fans expect a cleaner record (or the label).
Luckily, however, Willie has retained this in Twin Heavy released on Yala! Records. The whole album was recorded in just nine days with producer Loren Humphries live onto tape. I’ve got a lot of time for that. It’s what makes you feel so at home with it.
Don’t be mistaken though, ohh no, there’s a new charm to Twin Heavy.
His lyrics still have that heavy undertone. Usually about love, life, people, not being what it promised to be.
But Twin Heavy shows that he’s embraced the ambiguity of life and is just clean taking the piss out of it, carving his own path and allowing you to tread it with him. In fact, it’s probably more of a skip. And once you grasp it, you can skip to anything.
Girlfriend kicking you out? Skip away. Lost your job? Skip out of it. Being chased by the police? You get the picture.
I’ve tried to stay away from the song-by-song breakdown in the hope of a less monotonous sheet of writing for you to read, but I should probably give you a bit more.
So, here’s what you’ve got to do, listen to the album by yourself and all the way through. Headphones work, but an old radio-style player might work better.
If you want to know the bangers, they’re Fashun, True Stereo, Big Nothing, Songs for Joanna, Sweeter than Most, Heavy Traffic and Why You Gotta Do It (turns out there’s a lot. True Stereo being a personal fave.
After you’ve listened to it once, listen to the lyrics on your faves again. The …don’t say it, do not say it… SUMMERY (shithouse) driving rhythm and guitar stings throughout develop a new aura. The careless, airy attitude of Willie has been cleverly weaved into the songs in a way you simply can’t ignore.
Is it the time you need to spend with Willie to ‘understand’ his music that has me fighting people who show any sign of scorn? Quite possibly, but I think that’s how he likes it. Cemented by the fact you’ll find him hiding behind peace signs, middle fingers and parking tickets on Instagram.
And once we’ve won enough people over, I can’t imagine I’ll be dishing out the right hooks for much longer.
I hope not anyway, I’m losing friends.