Sydney producer Willo’s debut EP ‘Past Time’ is what you get when you lock an avid partier cross muso in their bedroom for 3 months with a music studio, their thoughts, and a whole lot of talent. I don’t recommend we start locking producers up and forcing them to write, but in the case of Willo, it’s led to the creation of a stellar sonic trip.
Released via eclectic, this adventure through the existential musings of a creative confined is a window into Willo’s mind in lockdown–one that spills over into the return of clubbing and rediscovering the rhythm of everyday life. Combining textural sound design with clean, beautiful beat-work, Willo has conjured something that is both current and nostalgic. ‘Past Time’ gives a musical sense of deja vu, capturing cravings for life’s little things in a neat four-track offering.
The EP kicks off with the title track ‘Past Time’, as we’re plunged into the middle of Willo’s lockdown introspection. The opener is her first foray into using her own voice for vocals, and it works a treat. The pitched sung and spoken vocals create an intimacy that invites us into the inner workings of Willo’s dream state. When I chatted to Willo about her writing process, she explained her stream of consciousness approach to lyrics, saying she just began singing over her track on loop and the lyrics appeared;
“I didn’t realise that I was feeling like that, I guess it’s kind of like when you journal, you don’t even know the feelings that you have until you write them down”.
This spontaneous approach adds to the record’s feeling of retrospective intimacy and makes for an honest, personal tune that holds its own on the dancefloor.
Inspired by artists like Logic1000 and Fred Again, Willo has chosen every element of her EP with care. The tracklisting carries an arc that drives from the stillness of ‘Past Time’ into the roller ‘Sense of Self’ which Eclectic describes aptly saying “Here, take these luscious pads and glittery synths before I steal them back and hand you an infectious bass-line and breakbeat you weren’t expecting.” (eclecticsydney.bandcamp.com). We then journey onto ‘He’s Mine’ as we’re thrown knee-deep into a club after a few too many, before strolling into ‘Think’, the soundtrack to your 5 am dawdle back to the crib.
This desire to build an experiential piece of art has seen Willo play with the synergy of audio, visuals and album art. Her commitment to this was clear when discussing the creation of the video clip for ‘Past Time’, which Willo filmed on a camcorder and edited herself. She describes this process as being similar to creating music and a matter of “capturing candid moments and moments that I really took for granted”, an approach that served to artfully capture the essence of her track in film form.
‘Past Time’ is one of those EP’s that will continue to heal the effects of lockdown and loss, reminding us of the joys of “Just having a boogie [and] just being happy to be alive.”
Dip into the real-life diary of Willo and her homies below.
Lines like “I don’t want to be here all of my life” and “Living my life, doing what I say,” are empowering and resonate universally. There’s a Nai Palm-esque (Hiatus Kaiyote) flavour to Squidgenini’s vocal tone–each note dripping in soul and indefinable magic.
Today, we’re lucky enough to premiere the live stream of Henry’s set – a journey sprinkled with never before heard edits from the man himself. By the looks of things, this was one hell of a time at the controls as well as for those on the dancefloor.