Willie J Healey – Bunny

Multi-talented songwriter matures with a refreshing album...

Welcome to the long, drawn out final weekend of summer. The weather may not be as blissfully warm as you hoped, but Willie J Healey has delivered a fantastically sunny album that promises to compensate. Filled to the brim with a joyous playfulness, ‘Bunny’ is out today via YALA!, and perfectly captures the essence of those mellow summer afternoons. 

Up ‘til now, Healey’s success has been rooted in his witty, observational lyricism, often imbued with a signature sense of angst. It’s a winning formula, and has left him with a cult fanbase consisting of some of the biggest names in alternative, from Florence Welch to Alex Turner. ‘Bunny’ is a fantastic addition to his discography, one that has predominantly resided in indie while only dipping it’s toes into other genres. Healey has finally taken the plunge and delved into the array of inspirations that were previously only demonstrated in riffs and melodies. 

That signature indie boyishness is still apparent, but ‘Bunny’ is filled to the brim with soul and funk. The opening meanders through 70s psych-pop before launching into full-on funk on ‘Dreams’, an unabashedly sun filled track centring on the blissful sentiment of wanting to “close my eyes for a little while, let my troubles fade.” It’s the kind of album that comes with maturing. The contentment portrayed is not from a lack of worries, but a sense of acceptance and embracing whatever tranquillity we can grab from the chaos of living. 

This is Healey at his best, fully confident and relaxed in his songwriting. Friends meander onto the album, with a playful feature from Jamie T on ‘Thank You’ filled with humorous lines and joking quibs. Each considered detail of the album, from the many references to the incorporation of strings elevate the album into a blissfully mellow listening experience. Everything from the simplicity of the romantic relationships depicted, with lyrics such as “I guess we’re down to squeeze” to the tongue in cheek comment “she’s my superfreak” reflect Healey’s adoration of the funk genre. Healey has delivered the ideal summer album, but it feels as much a gift to himself as his listeners. 


Words: Eve Boothroyd

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