Former DONY artist’s solo EP is straight from the mind of Paul Draper.
If you are one of the many people who followed 90s Britpop outfit Mansun religiously until their split in the early 2000s (and who got excited at Paul Draper’s debut EP earlier this year), then Will Hessey is right up your street. Fresh from Dukes of New York, the artist has just dropped his first solo release in the form of the Wave Goodbye EP, a release of fragile indie-alternative that rings with Mansun’s long-departed spirit.
The first minute of opener Shut Down captures this fragility perfectly. Both vocally and musically, it always feels on the verge on complete evaporation – faintly remaining with us just long enough to deliver some tender melodies and picked guitar riffs.
Yet it’s second track Wolves R Out 2nite (a track title absolutely not written in a style similar to some of Mansun’s) that really hammers the references home. Intense guitarwork builds a sturdy framework for the gentle vocals to swing from, with the latter throes of the song dialling up the guitar’s reverb just enough to complete the illusion. The title track ends this though, stylistically feeling like ground that Mansun never managed to tread during their tenure.
It is in this expanse that Will Hessey dominates. With enough similarities to be a musical wet dream for Mansun fans and enough differences to not be, fundamentally, a tribute act, Hessey has his own space of the rock genre set aside for him. If this EP is anything to go by, Hessey is still finding his footing there – but when he is ready to follow it up, he will be bound for success.