Hailing from Carterton, Oxfordshire, the impossible-to-pigeonhole Willie J Healey earned a rush of positive attention when new music champions YALA! Records released his ‘666 Kill’ EP last year. It generated a fresh burst of momentum in which he earned radio support from Annie Mac at Radio 1 and Steve Lamacq at 6 Music as well as a flurry of key playlists at both Spotify and Apple Music.
He also soon won a growing following of high profile fans (and now friends) including Laurie Vincent of Slaves, Orlando Weeks, Jamie T and Gaz Coombes.
Now Willie J Healey shares his brand new track ‘Songs For Joanna’, which previews the November 15th release of his new EP ‘Hello Good Morning’. It also offers the first taste of his second album, which will be released next year.
‘Songs For Joanna’ takes Willie’s pop nous to new heights, as if YALA! labelmates The Magic Gang teamed up with Elvis Costello. It’s a snappy tale of age-old teen dilemmas: love triangles, confused sexual identity and unrequited passions.
The idea, says Willie, came from his ability to tap back into that angst. “There’s so much confusion and all these emotions. Friends and family tell you that it’s all insignificant, but you don’t know that until you’re through it. Everything will pass.”
Willie recorded both the ‘Hello Good Morning’ EP and his second album with Loren Humphrey – drummer for The Last Shadow Puppets, Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala and Lana Del Rey, as well as a producer in his own right. All fifteen songs were recorded in just nine days at the Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne. Recording live to tape was an indulgence, but one which enabled them to embrace a particular mindset. It fitted Loren’s purist approach, while Willie was happy to focus on playing rather than having to do everything himself.
The EP title reflects Willie’s key approach to finding inspiration to his new songs. He’d wait next to morning commuters at his local train station, relax in a local café or sit alone in the cinema - all with a notepad in hand to document any interesting details or snippets of conversation that he overheard.
The ‘Hello Good Morning’ EP is now available to pre-order. YALA! Records’ official store is stocking an exclusive bundle which packages the 12” vinyl with an exclusive t-shirt design. Meanwhile, a signed copy of the EP is available to pre-order exclusively from Rough Trade.
Willie J Healey operates within his own lane. This is a musician who can write about any topic that grabs his attention: from wry observationals and the innocence of young love, through to gothic visitations from the devil and alien abductions. He’s unconstrained by genre, moving at will between scrappy garage-rock, evocative Americana and sumptuous psychedelia. And it's all his own work, the product of obsessively writing song after song in his studio/garage/bedroom.
Thursday 7th November 2019
Price: £10 adv