With his new album ‘Bunny’ set to arrive on August 25th via YALA! Records, Willie J Healey is giving us the latest taste of what to expect, teaming up with Jamie T for new single ‘Thank You’.
Healey explains the creative process behind the song: “I was tired and flat and didn’t know what to make & then my friend Jamie said ay willie I’ve got this drum machine it might inspire you. I picked it up and wrote ‘Thank You’ the next day, it was my way of thanking Jamie for being a good friend. I dedicate it to anyone trying to do their own thing.”
In addition to the album, Willie J Healey will be hitting the road in January and February with Florence + The Machine on a series of UK dates. He is also set to appear at various festivals and venues around Europe in July and August.
We caught up with Willie as part of our new albums preview in the current issue of Dork. Here’s what he had to say.
Hello, how’s it going Willie? Are you looking forward to a brand new year?
I’m good, thanks, Dork. It’s going pretty well! This year has been a funny one – not bad, just unusual! I suppose I am looking forward to leaving it in the dust, yeah.
We hear you have an album on the way – how’s it coming along? If you had to guess, what percentage of the way through it are you?
There is a new album on the way, it’s completely done, so I’d go with 100%. I’m happy with how it turned out too! My best yet.
You’ve been recording in NYC, right? That’s exciting.
I did the whole of this album in New York with my friend and producer, Loren Humphrey. I stayed at his house for a few months and lived the life! The whole experience was very lovely.
When did you begin work on the record? Was there a specific starting point?
Oh man, I don’t know. I’m terrible with dates and years, but I guess I had been working on it for a few years. I wrote and demoed most of it while living in Bristol, and we then spent around 12-15 days in the studio recording it. My friend Jamie T lent me this legendary drum machine, and it really inspired me to write differently. I’d say that’s when I really started cooking.
How does it compare to your previous material?
Good question; maybe you could help me with that one? It’s more ambitious in terms of feel and rhythm. Leaning more heavily on drums, bass and keys instead of being written around guitar parts. I think I just started playing around with different instruments, which resulted in a different sound. Funky.
Can you let us in on any of the track names? Do you have a favourite on there?
‘Woke Up Smiling’, ‘Dreams’, ‘Tiger Woods’, ‘Sure Feels Good’, ‘Thank You’… man, there are like 12 of them! Would you like them all? My current favourite is ‘Thank You’. It just really represents the album well, funky but simple, you know?
When do you think we’ll be able to hear the album?
We’re figuring this out; I have some touring planned, so we are trying to pick the right moment, sometime next year, though!
Do you think the record will surprise people?
I hope so. I hope it blows people’s minds!