Willie J Healey - 'Twin Heavy'

8/10

The story behind singer and songwriter Willie J Healey's rise through the ranks is quickly becoming a familiar one to those that keep a close eye on the politics behind the music industry. After being discovered early in his career, the young Bristolian was quickly snapped up by Sony Music to release his well-received 2017 debut album 'People And Their Dogs'; a release that didn't quite meet the commercial expectations of his label, despite his best efforts to conform to their guidance. Now free from his corporate shackles, he returns with his eagerly-awaited follow-up 'Twin Heavy', a full-length that sees him flourish and embrace his new independent aesthetic.

Channeling the bright and breezy feel of the 1970s folk-pop scene and the boisterous swagger of Jarvis Cocker in equal measure throughout this new collection, 'Twin Heavy' is one of those instantly enjoyable record that you just know isn't going to let you down from the start. Throughout its 12-track runtime, the frontman delights us in a wave of fresh and vibrant ditties that have this rich and dreamy texture, which never looks to show a sour note. His retro yet contemporary direction gives the record a familiar yet distinctive style that brings a great level of intrigue and joy to much of this new offering.

He may have been left on the scrap pile after his flutter with the major label lot, but Willie J Healey is one of those artists who can't be caged, and in fact, feels far more at home without the sales pressure lingering over him. Light and uplifting throughout, 'Twin Heavy' is one of those rare joys that needs to be brought out at every conceivable opportunity.

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