Willie J Healy’s self described “rock n stroll” sound left a strong impression following the release of his two 2015 EPs, HD Malibu and Saturday Night Feeling. Now, the Oxford native is back with his latest single, “Pipedreams”, which marks his first release on National Anthem/Columbia Records.
While Healy cites a range of artistic influences from Odd Future to Bruce Springsteen, his music is most comparable to the likes of Kurt Vile or Mac DeMarco for its lo-fi rock and DIY aesthetic. However, “Pipedreams” sees Healy offer an electric edge previously unheard, making this “anthem for the lackadaisical” still hit like “his hardest, most immediate punch to date,” as a press release puts it.
That added punch is in part due to Healy’s bluntness, best illustrated when he sings, “I could never be like you cause I can’t skate, just got the shoes/ I wish I could read Thrasher mag, but I’d be faking it real bad.” Though he may not be a boarder, what really has him spooked are failed dreams: “I was wasting all my time baby, like I always am/ My pipe dreams are all fading, ’cause I’m so lazy,” he sings on the chorus.
The accompanying visual shows what following a dream really looks like as it focuses on a day in the life of famed 60-year-old skater Neal “The Dude” Unger. The clip offers a sweet contrast to the underlying cynicism present elsewhere on the track, and you can watch it above.
Healy will play a special homecoming headlining gig at Oxford, UK’s The Cellar on July 20th. Tickets can be found here.