Thursday, 2 September 2010

Whatchoo talkin' bout? Willis.

It's been seven long years since Hayley Willis released her excellent debut album, Come Get Some, on 679, but the largely positive reviews it received weren't enough to prevent it sinking without trace. Nevertheless, I liked it a lot, and the two mesmerising live shows I saw in 2004, at the ICA and the late, lamented Spitz (both in London), had me desperately hoping she wouldn't become yet another casualty of widespread public indifference. But other than her inspired cover of Cameo's Word Up memorably featuring in an episode of CSI, and a one-shot self-released 7", Get In The Ring, about five years ago, there's been nothing since. Until now.

If you click here, you can preview her new album, Uncle Treacle, which is out later this month. It's already one of the best I've heard this year - raw-boned, spooked-out country/blues/folk, with a version of Dolly Parton's 9 To 5 that strips away all the Cosmo perkiness of the original, making it far easier for anyone actually familiar with the drudgery of working life to relate to. It's quite magnificent.

Nowadays, it's possible to throw a stone over your shoulder and hit half a dozen self-consciously "rootsy" female singer-songwriters straight from central casting. I doubt too many of them would have been as good as Willis back in 2003 and, on the evidence of this, I don't imagine much will have changed seven years on.

1 comment:

Arthit said...

Just picked this out up at Rough Trade last week. Loved her first. Can't believe it was 7 years ago.