Will Varley – ‘Spirit of Minnie’ (Xtra Mile Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Lizzi Maxwell   
Monday, 22 January 2018 04:20

Will Varley Spirit artworkFollowing on from the success of his album ‘Kingsdown Sundown’ and tours with the likes of Frank Turner, Billy Bragg and The Proclaimers, British folk singer Will Varley returns with his upcoming fifth album, ‘Spirit Of Minnie’, set for release on 9 February on Xtra Mile Recordings. This album marks a change from Will, the most obvious change being the addition of a full backing band and it also sees the first collaboration between Will and producer Cameron McVey, known most notably for his work with Massive Attack, Portishead and Neneh Cherry.


The young songwriter from London is about to embark on a UK tour, and the album is set to be released the very same day he is set to play the biggest headline show of his career so far at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. The tour kicks off on 30 January and is a big step up for the man who started out performing at open mic nights around London in the early 2000s and who, in 2014, toured the south east of England entirely on foot, playing 24 shows crossing almost 500 miles (could he walk 500 more). This is a man with stories to tell and he’s back with a new album to unravel them!


Album opener and single ‘All Those Stars’ with Will’s soulful voice and acoustic guitar, explores the meaning of life whereas his recent single to be taken from the album ‘Statues’ is a more fragile track about repentance and uncertainty that explores our ideas and emotions linked to the past, present and future, provoking us to think about the bigger picture. Penultimate track ‘Postman’ and the more upbeat, but still not entirely cheery, ‘Seven Days’ are in my opinion standout tracks.



Overall, this is an excellent album and from start to finish each track unravels a story and takes you on a journey. With the addition of the backing band, McVeys production and Wills consistent ability to immerse you in his lyrics, he has remained true to the roots of folk throughout the nine-track album. It has a more reflective, slightly subdued feel to it than previous albums, perhaps an attempt at appealing to a wider audience or perhaps maturing? Whatever the reason, it is still an excellent piece of work from the talented musician who has a real gift for expressing his feelings and narrating his stories in such a way that people understand what he is writing about and projecting it in a way that makes it relatable.


With his relentless hard work and immense talent, I think he is poised for great things in 2018.


‘Spirit of Minnie’ is released on 9 February. You can get your copy HERE.


Will Varley tour poster




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