As a singer-songwriter signed to Xtra Mile and heavily endorsed by Frank Turner, it’s not hard to get a pretty decent impression of what Will Varley sounds like. But the Kent troubadour isn’t just another copy of a copy, as ‘Postcards From Ursa Minor’ shows.
Across this album’s thirteen tracks is the entire spectrum of Varley’s work, from pensive emotional numbers like ‘Send My Love To The System’ right the way up to peppy, upbeat tracks like the riotous opener ‘As For My Soul’.
Whatever guise he takes though, there’s always a massively high watermark of songwriting quality. Again, there’s a massively wide range of topics that Varley covers, be it contemplations on life on ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ or complete absurdity like ‘Talking Cat Blues’ (which unashamedly cribs the instrumental elements from Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’). It only serves to show how great a lyricist he is – that he can switch from solemn gravitas to blatant piss-taking at the drop of a hat is a seriously impressive skill.
Maybe thirteen tracks is a bit much, ‘Postcards From Ursa Minor’ is a definitive statement that, with Will Varley, we may just have found the UK’s next best singer-songwriter.
‘Postcards From Ursa Minor’ by Will Varley is released on 30th October on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)