Willem takes the modern languid sounds of Post Malone, Mac Miller and combines it with the mellow tones of WIlco and Neutral Milk Hotel. He hails from Albany but is currently a musical engineering student at Purchase College. His debut EP uses the elements of his previous collaborations with NRV and SIMONEAR (Tomorrow, Mrs. Rebound) and blends them into a moment leaving you wanting more.
“Hit the Floor” was released as a teaser for the EP in the spring: it’s joyful, flirtatious lyrics are combined with a soft but driving beat that ends with the listener yearning for summer. “November” reminds you of rainy, bittersweet days in bed with a partner and recognizing that winter is coming just like the end of a relationship.
The interlude between the tracks provides the emotional space for one to consider the next song title.
“We Could Be Friends” brings about the renewal and inner maturity needed to release the listener from grappling with the previous tracks themes. With “Lately,” Willem’s voice reaches a place unexplored earlier; he takes it down a step and explores a level a loneliness that resonates with the rest of the EP but holds the potential for more to come.
What more is there to say? It’s short but not in a way that punk, grindcore, or any other genre priding itself in brevity could hope to muster. Willem achieves something that many young artists want but rarely earn: writing a debut worth listening to on repeat and being able to do so if you have more than 10 mins to spare–it’s like Reign in Blood for the digital era, but without the physical sensation of flipping a cassette to hear the same good time again.
Key Tracks: Hit the Floor, November