Some of the best indie songsmithery you’ll hear in 2020…

Bold and assured, it matches crisp production to a set of songs that ranks alongside some of the very best indie songsmithery you’re likely to hear in 2020. Whether he’s playfully nudging your arm or tugging at your heartstrings, Willie J Healey is a subtle voice of confession.

“‘True Stereo’ came from a good place, “I wrote it while trying out my friend Casper’s baritone guitar,” he explained in a press release. “I was like, ‘damn this sounds funky!’ I then transferred that tuning to a regular six string, which gave it a really warped sludgy sound. That baritone inspired the whole idea.”

From the sunny-day welcome of ‘Fashun’ to the stuttering lovelorn slow-dance of ‘Caroline Needs’, ‘Twin Heavy’ sees Healey burn his acoustic guitar and create a record of ‘70s psychedelic decadence. // NME

He explained: “My first album was a bit like a Beatles album; there’s all different types of songs on it and it’s kind of all over the place. This album is still quite varied but it has more of a definite style. I think I’ve found a happy medium for myself. I’ve found my sound. Overall, I’m a lot more comfortable with myself and confident with my songwriting whereas before I was always maybe drawing on other people quite heavily.”

Opener ‘Fashun’ is an ultra-catchy power pop blaster, with its fantastic ear-worm chorus remaining lodged in your frontal lobe for days on end. ‘True Stereo’ is driven forwards by those Brendan Benson style chords, with Willie J Healey’s urgent delivery adding new intensity to his work. ‘Big Nothing’ finds Healey conjuring visions of Elliot Smith with an added dose of Elliot Smith, before the songwriter up-ends expectations by tearing it up on Lou Reed style chugger ‘Songs For Joanna’.

Wistful and wise, ‘Twin Heavy’ offers a portrait of the young man as a record collector. With his magpie-like eye for treasure and eagerness to share, Willie J Healey has conjured something special. 8/10 //


‘Condo’ is the black sheep on an album of outsider anthems. A dark, brooding track that takes Slash’s guitar solo from Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ and hands it over to The Phantom of The Opera, it sees Healey desperate and in love. No matter how many times his heart breaks, across this record he gets right back up again. An album that’s ready to fall head over heels at a moment’s notice. It’s hard not to get caught up in his absolute lust for life.

Instagram // @williejhealey

Twitter // @WJHealey