Willie J. Healey has only gone and doggone made the album for the Summer that has fully yet to materialise*. The Summer that peeks through the clouds, teasing and tantalising its tentacles of splashing rays of light … for a while before vanishing back to its full-time job elsewhere. THAT Summer. The good ol’ British variety.

A Summer of unrealised plans, postponed dreams and cancelled catch-ups. However, fear not, retain all hope, salvation is on hand as music always has the capacity to take you to realms hitherto unconsidered.

Rightfully lauded and applauded by contemporaries such as Arctic Monkeys and Florence Welch (both of whom he has – or will be – touring with as aural appetite-whetter) and backed in many ways by mates like Idles’ Joe Talbot and Jamie T (who provides his kinetic kismet on ‘Thank You’), Healey’s third album ‘Bunny’ supplies the seasonal and sun-drenched salvation you’ve all been praying for.

Reluctantly leaving his trusted group behind (bar bassist Harry Deacon) Healey encounters the Big Apple sound-schemer Loren Humphrey (Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey) who is on production duties to deliver the soothing spin ‘n sonics.

You want jaunty, upbeat bliss-kisses? You gotchit. You crave nu-soul ‘n stroll? You getchit. You desire technicolour yacht rock? You betchit. You demand troubadour-knocking on heaven’s entrance (‘Black Camero’ neatly-nods to Dylan’s date with destiny)? You wotchit!

Opener ‘Woke up smiling’ sets the tone, throws you the bone and puts you right in the zone. Healey’s mooning-croon evocative of Alex Turner’s own alter-ego-getting slinky seductor. The lounge lizards sing …

The languid ‘Dreams’ is the warmth of an afternoon** reclining on the fun-lounger, kicking back, sitting off and taking stock, drawing up the next steps and biding time. Before making things ‘real’.

‘Tiger Woods’ channels Prince (c.f. ‘When 2 R in love’) at his most-gospel-blinding and funkily funnels the hornful plentiness of the 1970s Phillysound. Fore-midable!

The dulcetted-duetcetera of ‘Thank You’ finds Healey (re)calling and responding to compadre Jamie T. Inspired by the lending of a drum machine from the latter engendering pastures new for the former. The rewarding results are evident.

‘Sure feels good’ and ‘Blue Bird’ are full-on Beatles bonhomie-economy.

The overall message is one that subtly says ‘Love life and it’ll love ya back’. This Summer’s album is here.

*For UK-bound listeners at least

** 25.08.2023 to be precise, climate fans

Source: www.music-news.com

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