With the release of the album ‘Kingsdown Sundown’, Will Varley has brought forth an album unlike any before. Released on the 4th of November (2016), the eleven track album is jam packed with gems of lyrical genius. As Varley begins his tour around Ireland and the UK, he brings with him his fourth studio album under Xtra Mile Recordings. This time, the British singer presents his findings of the human condition, from wars to smaller pub fights to the loss of loved ones and the eternal cry people have for a happier world. Varley touches home with one of the best albums to date – a much needed addition to music in this tremulous year the world has had.
The release of the album’s first single, ‘To Build A Wall’ has been released at just the right time it seems with the results of the US election. More importantly, although the lyrics speak about building a wall of all kinds of materials, really anything anyone can find, Varley hasn’t failed to put forth the question of who owns the lands we roam and what right they have to do so. Moreover, how far someone’s back is turned on someone else in the world who is smiling on the other side of the wall. Moreover, he mentions the reasons and many ways to build walls, through the fear and lies, misunderstandings. Towards the end of the song though, Varley asks in the lyrics for the child, the daughter, to be taken away from all the carnage and so she can “see the truth behind the wall”.
Let Your Guard Down is a track that might hit home in particular. From scenes of punch ups in a KFC joint to seeing drunkards on the streets in the early hours of the morning, the song promises the values and benefits of letting one’s guards down when falling in love. However the crooning vocals Varley unleashes, with the accompaniment of strings, soothes the wounds the lyrics can cut into the soul. In addition to this, there’s a certain feeling of catharsis that washes over you when listening to the track.
“There’s a flinty, wounded edge to Will Varley’s delivery that recalls the Dylan of The Times They Are A-Changin’” – The Independent
One of the more softer sounding songs manages to echo in similarity to something like an old love song, passed down over the generations. Within ‘When She Wakes up’, Varley somehow manages to make the aching sound of lovers having parted sound incredibly calming but still rings something deep down inside of us. With the well known human condition and universal concept, it’s not hard to relate to the song with its beautiful lyrics that tell the oldest of love stories, new and revised to leave Varley’s own stamp in the world, and not just the music industry.
Taking up a more sinister and quicker sounding piece of music, the ninth track on the album ‘Back To Hell’ is perhaps one of the most intriguing tracks to listen to. Varley manages to take the ability of telling a story through his music to a whole new level. Released in the right time for the colder months, the warning but enjoyable lyrics paint a haunting picture of a mysterious woman, dangerous and conniving with with a stormy backdrop to boot. Varley makes sure you’ll struggle to forget the woman in the song and leaves a chilling image of both the figure and the hell he sings of her return to.
So how did such an honest album come about? Varley explains, “these are the most honest songs I’ve ever written and they represent new ground for me creatively. They may not be radio friendly, or even ‘friendly’ at all, but I’ve been wanting to make a record like this for a long time.” Kingsdown Sundown portrays perfectly how you don’t need fancy studios or the most expensive luxuries in the music industry to be able to write meaningful lyrics. Instead, Varley disproves this with his own music as he wrote such real and honest lyrics on the back of receipts, on tour buses between stops and recorded the album in a basement in Kent, just beneath a pub with the loud, raging waves roaring just beyond a wall.
The album is the perfect excuse to kick back and recall the year that has been 2016, a year that’s still wrapping up now and doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Although Varley can’t promise to make the world a better place in 2017, he has given us this gift of an album and has been able to sum up for us a troublesome year, whilst still being a comfort and hope for the year to come.
Varley’s UK and Ireland tour will feature support from The Lion And The Wolf. You can preorder Kingsdown Sundown here:
Tour locations and dates include:
08/11 Glasgow, King Tuts
09/11 Manchester, Gorilla
10/11 Newcastle, Cluny
11/11 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
15/11 Portsmouth, The Wedgewood Rooms
16/11 Bristol, Thekla
17/11 Brighton, Komedia
18/11 London, Union Chapel
23/11 Galway, Roisin Dubh
24/11 Dublin, Whelans
25/11 Belfast, The Sunflower
26/11 Cork, Cyprus Avenue
Follow Will Varley here: