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John Willoughby Releases 'Something Wicked'

In our quest to uncover some fresh exciting new music to stimulate our minds and our senses, we were fortunate to discover the work of multi-instrumentalist John Willoughby and his latest record Something Wicked. 

Having been part of making moves within the emerging music scene since 2020, this is the first full length album which sees John takes us all on an exploration of different syles of rock and indie music including punk, prog and classic rock with the help of some of other amazing artists who compliment John’s style with their vocals. 

So with Something Wicked containing 9 tracks, let us take a look at some of the special tracks which showcase John Willoughby’s diverse and charismatic style. 

The album begins with Falling In Shadows which just lures you in as it brings together themes of light and dark beautifully channelled via those infectious guitar solos and the rhythm that John, Julie Slick, Randy McStine, Hannah Townsend have created through the song. Factor in the guest vocals of Leeloo, and you have yourself a very catchy and engaging song, especially given Leeloo's powerful voice. 

The way she sings lines such as ‘now you will find as you start to lose count, of the number of years as they mount, falling in shadows again, the sheep that you pass keep chewing the grass, while you struggle to figure out why, so you watch as a stream pulls up in a dream, that's reflected above in the sky’, just make the song such an elevated experience.

The opening track of any album can be so pivotal, especially when pressing play for the very first time, and while I am a music fan with a very opening mind, I like how John Willoughby has brought a spark of positive energy to Falling In Shadows and the way it has been carefully constructed together. 

So Hard Loving You which follows, is impactful in its own way, because the softer nature of the song, really allow the depth within the lyrics and vocals of John and Olivia Bennett feel so both tender and empowering at the same time.

When you hear the lines, ‘the hope that one day you will turn another leaf, and there will be a time when we can put aside the grief, forget the little cuts, the traces that could all be gone, with no more eggshells left to walk upon’ you can really feel that raw emotion coming through. The dialogue when it comes to romance, kindred spirits and conversations of the heart are very precious, and what I really admire about So Hard Loving You those themes are approached in quite a beautifully delicate way. 

I think part of the appeal of this album is how from a listener's perspective it calls out to your conscience, allowing you to feel a special resonance in the process. One of the songs i found a special connection which stood out in this way was Struck By Lightning.

Purely featuring the vocals of Olivia Bennett, there is such depth within the song writing, which feels like the perfect combination of being in tune those feelings and acknowledging those thoughts and emotions in the conversations we have with one another, particularly with lines such as, ‘there is nothing I can do when it came with some surprise, like a hit between the eyes, just a shout up from the blue, I don’t know what to say, it was all pretty frightening, like getting struck by lightning, and its all because of you’. 

There is power in the words that we say and the way we express ourselves as humans, and as a song and the way that it has a been written with such depth and thought, Struck By Lightning is a prime example of that. 

One final song I would like to highlight on this album would have to be Find The Love. Lyrically and sonically I find this such a calming song to listen to because again it is written in such a wholesome way, which just feels so warming and comforting to listen to. I really love the serenity this song brings, and what makes it even better is that it just radiates such positive energy.

For example just hearing lyrics such as ‘the comfort that you take, from gardens that you tend, the beauty that you’ve grown, a love that never ends, you wash away the pain, in oceans deep and blue, and open up your heart, to love that comes for you’. If you were looking for a poetic way to really serenade someone in an impactful way, then this song ticks all those important boxes. 

There is so much more I can say about this album, but I think what makes Something Wicked such a strong album is the way that  it celebrates John Willoughby’s versatility as an artist. Many good things have come from cross-collaboration, and with the assistance of friends Julie Slick, Randy McStine, Olivia Bennett to name but a few this album has so much to offer from one track to the other. 

The best way to truly get a true appreciation for Something Wicked is to listen to it for yourself, available on all major platforms, make sure you check it out today!

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Article By Thushara Chandrasiri

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