Willie and the Goodsouls Release Self-Titled Album
Music recorded amid a global pandemic, from what I’ve heard both professionally and from friends, has generally come off as something claustrophobic. I know, music recorded in makeshift, amateur bedroom studios or across various distance-related hurdles while the world is crumbling and everyone’s coping with exceedingly low levels of self-esteem and happiness made things sound miserable and over-contained?
Color me surprised! There was something distinctly disheartening about the entire world of art, both in making it and consuming it, as a virus pillaged across a stage of global proportions. Even films made in lockdown (that heist movie and that horror movie about a pandemic; seriously!) felt deeply unsettled — only time will tell what the overall attitude will be towards pandemic projects and now that we’re all slowly coming out of our shells, there’s perhaps a different perspective to be had on the stuff. Surprisingly, there is one project that feels as alive as anything from before the pandemic that has left me gobsmacked — coming directly from Finland, the third (and self-titled) release from Willie and the Goodsouls is bursting with life and enthusiasm.
“Willie and the Goodsouls” is a reminder of everything good in music; the band has gratitude for the music they’re able to craft and it’s such a positive adrenaline shot of eight outstanding tracks that it feels as crucial to the band as it will to their fans and listeners. There’s a wholly established feeling of goodwill that tracks throughout “Willie and the Goodsouls,” from the rip-roaring opener simply titled “Sounds” to the grandiose closing track “Worlds and Ya-Ya’s.” There’s something for everyone to click with as long as the core element of rock suits your fancy, and yet the album functions so flawlessly throughout its runtime that a surefire standout song isn’t something too determinable.
There’s something for the rock-heads (opener “Sounds” is as rocking as they come), something for those more keen on indie (a little bit of cottagecore with “Baby I’m the Man), and even songs that cater to the country-rock demographic (most notably in the double whammy of back-to-back tracks “Double” and “Oh My What A Dream.”) There truly is something for everyone within the album and perhaps the most noteworthy piece worth declaring is that this is an album that feels untinged by the world’s overwhelming chaos.
At the end of it all, Willie and the Goodsouls is a band that wants to celebrate the good and block out the negative — they graciously invite listeners along for the ride and bring about a variety of sounds that will certainly stir feelings of elation from deep within, offering up the hope that the world will feel even just a little bit more bright by the end of the self-titled release. The selflessness given from the band to their fans is something deeply needed in a wider mainstream sense, and hopefully, the reevaluation in the aftermath of a pandemic will spread similar joy and jubilation from the Finnish act to those in America that come across as vastly less charitable by comparison.