This week’s Unsigned Sunday feature turns our attention to a 20-year-old Oxford musician who has got everyone in the know excited, despite only having a sole EP to his name.
Willie J Healey combines an infectious voice with an ear for a melody and woozy guitar hooks that could well have the likes of Mac DeMarco and Ezra Furman quaking in their boots.
‘Greys’ is taken from the EP HD Malibu, which is a completely organic effort, recorded by Healey in his garage – written, performed and produced alone (apart from a little help from two friends on bass and drums).
That considered, it is astounding how accomplished the production on ‘Greys’ – and indeed the EP as a whole – has turned out.
Intrigue really seems to to ooze from this truly enthralling singer-songwriter. At first he appears to resemble some kind of thinking man’s Jamie T, but then a huge pop hook will protrude from one of Healey’s choruses and it suddenly turns arena-sized. Maybe it’s a funny turn, but a slight tinge of Bryan Ferry even comes to mind.
Lucky for us, however, his trajectory hasn’t quite reached that scale yet and fans can catch him on tour with LA rockers Francisco the Man at the end of this month, including The Castle Hotel in Manchester on July 27th and Bodega Social Club, Nottingham July 31st, as well as Kendal Calling.
More good news too, as Healey says a second EP is in the pipeline. We await that eagerly and with the kind of instant engagement that we get from ‘Greys’, it surely won’t be long until someone, somewhere snaps him up for a full LP.