The first thing that struck me about the Oxfordshire-born Willie J Healey upon first hearing ‘Fashun’, a song that has been taken from the upcoming album ‘Twin Heavy’, was the similarities to Bob Dylan’s earlier work. The vocals seem to be inspired straight from the legend himself, as well as a fair share of the lyrical content. Though, it was all done with so much style and it hooked me as a listener right away.
This happens to be the first tack I’ve personally heard from Willie J Healey, so as of the time of writing I have none of his other work to compare it to. Though, that brings me joy as I’m happy this is the first I’m hearing of a relatively new English artist because the song is so strong.
The chorus is gripping, backed with a female vocal that adds a sprinkle of old school country to the track. The vocals are in fact rather folky, which plays off of the rock ‘n’ roll instrumental work incredibly well. Healey delivers an uplifting vocal which is appropriate as that mood is shared with the rest of the ongoings of the song. He also intertwines some interesting lyrical ideas too.
Another comparison I found this track to have to some of Dylan’s work was the lyrical content, particularly the descriptive narrative it drives home as the song progresses. An example of this is when Healey mutters the lines, “The traffic lights up your bedroom/ It’s like a disco on your ceiling/ The city’s on my back/ It’s breathing down my neck”.
The drum playing on the song is superb and that’s why it didn’t surprise me to learn Loren Humphrey (of Last Shadow Puppets, Florence + the Machine, Tame Impala and Lana De Rey fame) was the man behind the kit. The drums really drive the train the rest of the musician’s board on this song.
‘Fashun’ is an uplifting, guitar-heavy, thumper of a song and has made me look forward to the release of Healey’s second full-length album ‘Twin Heavy’. I didn’t know of this artist before, but now I’ll be digging through his back catalogue to find other gems such as this track.
Watch the accompanying music video for ‘Fashun’ below and discover the full track listing to ‘Twin Heavy’:
2. ‘True Stereo’
3. ‘Big Nothing’
4. ‘Songs For Joanna’
5. ‘Twin Heavy’
6. ‘Sweeter Than Most’
8. ‘For You’
9. ‘Heavy Traffic’
10. ‘Why You Gotta Do It’
11. ‘Thousand Reasons’
12. ‘Caroline Needs’
All words by Jared Musson, see more of his work here.