Will Joseph Cook gives us something to feel good about in latest livestream
Will Joseph Cook live(stream)
In times of trouble, Paul McCartney said that mother Mary came to him, singing words of wisdom, etcetera, etcetera…Personally, I’m more fond of the idea that, in these pressing times, the only voice of happiness we need is that of Will Joseph Cook.
Since the release of his debut album Sweet Dreamer in 2017 announced him as an exciting young talent in British pop music, fans have been all ears to hear what was next in store for the Kent local. The answer? A well-earned vacation. Yet the three years that Cook spent away from the industry hasn’t all been hawaiian shirts and coconut cocktails. Last year he treated fans with a new single, ‘The Dragon’, that was filled with playful propositions about ‘working it out’ and loving one another in the face of our earth’s climate crisis.
He’s actually recorded an album, too. A double album no less. In a recent spell of social media activity, the singer released two tracks from the project ‘Be Around Me’ and ‘Driverless Cars’, that were accompanied by two music videos.
With these guitar-led tracks still fresh in listeners’ ears, Will has this week completed his long-awaited return with an exclusive live performance of the first half of his sophomore album, ‘Something to Feel Good About’, which he debuted via a livestream on Tuesday evening. Shot in a friend’s Victorian rental house, the white, airy interiors provided a minimal contrast to Will’s vibrant and multi-layered brand of indie pop.
The aging design of the house was similarly fitting for the singer’s new retro fashion. Sporting frizzy curtains, a thick moustache and a stripy green polo shirt, the singer’s appearance is now something of an amalgamation of Ringo Starr and Richie Tenebaum. Anyone who hadn’t been closely following the singer’s career these past few years would be easily forgiven for failing to recognise Cook in these new threads.
While his appearance might be different, one thing that has not changed is the singer’s knack for delivering happy-go-lucky indie anthems. Perhaps most illuminating of these skills was the opener ‘Be Around Me’, which is a head-over-heels love song through and through, sung with equal parts vulnerability as vivacity. ‘Something to Feel Good About’ follows suit in an intensely joyous manner, with a jangling guitar lead and particularly emphatic drums that provide a lusciously catchy chorus. The following track ‘10X MORE FUN’, sees Cook put the guitar down and give a swaggering tour of the performance space.
Sonically, there’s nothing unorthodox going on here, but the singer’s cocksure confidence and gleeful vocal delivery ensure that he keeps viewers’ interests peaked. Not unworthy of a mention is the impeccable sound mixing of the performance, too. Engineer, Charlie Cook, does a fine job in ensuring that the guitars, keys and drums complement each other with buttery ease.
This union truly comes to fruition in the final half of Cook’s performance, in those more lowkey tracks like ‘She Likes Me’ and ‘Wayside’. Both tracks possess a breezy drum-led melody that makes their sound reminiscent of 90s Californian bands like Eels and Weezer. It’s a sickly sweet taste of nostalgia to round off an equally easygoing performance.
The set runs a trim nineteen minutes, which gives listeners just enough material to keep them satisfied in preparation for the album’s final half. But, can we expect much of the same bubbly pop when ‘Something to Feel Good About’ part 2 is released? “The second half of the album is far more reflective, with sobering songs about some of the most difficult moments I experienced over the last couple of years.” Says Will.
Yet, with Tuesday’s performance once again proving Cook’s optimistic songwriting ability, this promise of more pensive tracks marks an exciting new direction in the singer’s career.
Listen to Will Joseph Cook on Spotifyand Apple Music. Why not try our print mag featuring Declan McKenna, Shame, Whitney and more. Available HERE.