Will Joseph Cook, the supremely chill and laid-back singer-songwriter, has released a new acoustic EP Something To Feel Good About (Naked).
The EP features three tracks, including ‘Be Around Me’, ‘DownDownDown!’ and the title song, from his 2020 LP Something to Feel Good About stripped back to their bare essentials.
“Playing acoustic guitar has always been at my songwriting core. It’s how I first started out in music and where most of my ideas begin,” Cook said of the release. “It felt cool to make these versions as I can share more of the song’s origins. Recording these tracks reminded me of my early demos too, making beats on the back of my guitar and the forgotten bits of percussion in my school’s music room. A very wholegrain experience.”
The simplicity works wonders with most of Cook’s material, which is so bright and summery that it occasionally becomes too sickly sweet for its own good. Without the additional accoutrements of his electric arrangements sidelined for the unplugged aesthetic, Cook’s voice and lyrics get to take centre stage. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends on how much of Cook’s stoner bro ruminations resonate with you. He’s definitely charming in a kooky, surfer dude kind of way. Your opinion of Jack Johnson will highly factor into your enjoyment of Will Joseph Cook, that’s all I will say.
‘Be Around Me’, however, loses much of its propulsive energy in the new acoustic arrangement. When I heard Cook say “TL;DR” without being swamped in reverb-laden sound waves, I definitely cringed a little bit. That’s what you sign up for here: any kind of smoke screen or facade that Cook might have used to enhance, or hide away, his sonic and lyrical signatures are now unadorned and sparse. If you’re already bought in, you’ll love it, but if you’re on the fence, it probably won’t make you a new convert.
Check out the Something to Feel Good About (Naked) EP down below.