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As The Crow Flies - Will Varley

Release Info

Artist: Will varley

Album: As the Crow Flies
Release Date: September 2nd, 2013.
Label: The Smugglers

Genre: Folk

Release Blurb

September 2013 will see the release of ‘As The Crow Flies’, the second album by
fiercely independent folk singer, novelist, and filmmaker Will Varley. The album was
recorded in the old smuggling tunnels that riddle the basements of the cottages
beneath the seaside town of Deal, Kent. It is released on DIY label Smugglers Records
that Varley runs alongside a co-operative of fellow southeast based musicians. Over
the last five years Smugglers has helped a plethora of artists further their musical
endeavours, as well as organising their own sell-out festival deep in the Kent

The 26 year old plays an explosive brand of contemporary British folk music which
scales the full spectrum of storytelling, from farcical ‘shaggy dog stories’ about the
self checkout machines at the supermarket, to beautifully-crafted allegorical songs
such as the real life tale of Khulekani Khumalo, a South African folk singer who
supposedly rose from the dead in 2012. His live shows dance effortlessly between
sharp humour, scathing social commentary and raw heart-breaking emotion.

Varley moved to the seaside from London in 2010, seeking like-minded musicians,
cheap rent, and a new way of doing things. After releasing his politically charged
debut album ‘Advert Soundtracks’ in 2011, he set out on the road and walked a
hundred and forty miles with a guitar and tent on his back. Starting his walking tour at
London Bridge he headed southeast, strolling through the rolling hills and towns,
singing songs to whoever would listen. This began to build a fan base that has since
grown to sell out the first album and seen festival tents bursting with followers. The
record received a number of excellent reviews, and his self-directed music video for
‘King For A King’ has enjoyed almost 20,000 views on YouTube.

After self-publishing his first novel in the winter and almost two years of relentless
gigging, including shows at the Occupy London protests & The Bank of Ideas, the
young troubadour has recorded his second album with the help of David Hatton Jnr.
(Cocos Lovers). Though still littered with his trademark humour, ‘As The Crow Flies’ is
a darker, more mature album which sees Varley’s poetry take centre stage, from the
brutal honesty of the album’s title track, to the swaying cynicism of ‘Weddings and
Wars’ in which he attempts a history of the world in under four minutes.

Press Quotes

“Certain to turn ears his way... Varley feels very much a voice for what could
soon become the 21st Century’s lost generation”  Folk Radio UK

“Powerful, Political & Pertinent” The Independent

“A simple line like “the big bang doesn’t care if I pray” is laden with the kind of
meaning other artists would take whole albums to say.”  Rock Kent

“It's the antithesis of all that Simon Cowell creates, and it's fantastic” Contact


August 5th 2013. By Gemma Hirst

When it comes to British Contemporary Musicians, I am very sceptical of what sort of artists come under this genre. As there as so many artists now, like I discussed in previous reviews that are classed as folk or country singers and they are not. Just because you can play guitar and add auto tune to your voice doesn't mean you are a British Contemporary Musicians. However Will Varley is deserved to be in that musical category.

26 year old Will Varley has created a second album, As the Crow Flies more specifically. The album shows off his talents as a lyricist. Being not only a singer but a film maker, novelist and a poet. He uses what skills he has as a writer to create some rather witty tracks. In particular the self checkout shuffle, Varley discusses the typical routine of student. Having very little money to spend on food or wine because they have spent it on the bookies. It was the epitome of what a student has to go through every day, being young himself Varley most likely draws from past experiences.

I enjoyed the use of cultural references in that song as well as the track I've got an email. This I think has to be one of my favourite songs; it's very up to date with the current political situation and uses some humour too. Talking about how people are so drawn in to spam emails but dependant on how desperate you are to gain employment you'll believe and do anything. I think it is because of this that it is my favourite song. I mean this as a compliment when I say that Varley reminds me of a young Bill Bailey, using music and witty lyrics to humour and entertain the audience.

For those of you are fans of Mumford and Sons, then I think you will like Will Varley. Again, similar to Gerry Griffin he just uses a guitar and his voice and it somehow creates this massive dynamic within this genre of music. It is so simple yet effective; I could sit and listen to Varley's album As The Crow Flies, it is just a pity he isn't touring across the North East of England. I reckon he would have a strong fan base.

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