Is Willie J Healey your favourite artists’ favourite artist? You better believe it. Alex Turner, Joe Talbot of IDLES, Jamie T and Orlando Weeks are among those who believe, most having come onboard following the Neil Young-meets-The Beatles-meets Elvis Costello charms of his 2020 album ‘Twin Heavy’. And while Willie has largely been the preserve of those in the know, that’s all about to change. When Florence Welch heard his upcoming album ‘Bunny’ via its producer, her friend Loren Humphrey, as well as through YALA! Records co-founder Felix White, she was sufficiently impressed to invite Willie and his band on this autumn’s Florence + The Machine arena tour.
If you’ve already discovered the album’s introductory track, ‘Tiger Woods’, you’ll have had a first taste of why Florence was so won over. It sees Willie dive headfirst into a style of music he has always loved, but that never previously found its way into his own songs. It’s a low-slung, sensual ‘70s-style jam which simultaneously calls to mind Sly and The Family Stone, Philly soul, ‘Midnite Vultures’-era Beck and a little OutKast.