Molly Willis – ‘Bad Art’ EP review

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Photo credit: Ruth Baldry

Following praise from BBC Introducing and the singles ‘Upswing’, ‘Beautiful Boy’ and ‘Crying When Angry’, Norfolk-based singer-songwriter Molly Willis will release her debut EP ‘Bad Art’ on 20 March, 2020. Inspired by a diverse array of artists ranging from Mazzy Star to The Flaming Lips, the EP finds Molly confronting her struggles with mental health while also trying to deal with a case of unrequited love.

The EP opens with the title track, a song that instantly recalls ‘Are We There’-era Sharon Van Etten with its emotional atmospherics and heartfelt lyrics: ‘I tried to be good. I was gonna be the best. Took a shot in the dark, hit myself in the chest and now I’m bleeding from the heart’. Previous single ‘Upswing’ follows with jaunty handclaps and soulful Staples sisters-esque guitar hooks. Perfect for a live setting, it really packs a punch as Molly unpacks her feelings about committing to a certain project: ‘Look at all these things I’d do if only I could concentrate’; ‘Obsessed with all the wrong things when I’m on the upswing’.

There’s more of an Americana-meets-folk edge to the genteel guitar-driven ‘Bed Head’ while the closing ‘Moviegoers’ finds Molly pouring out her emotions over a jaunty indie-pop sound – complete with a few shreds and self-doubting lyrics: ‘Although I’ve tried, I simply can’t imagine you in tears over me’. This EP is full of powerful guitar-led songs that could be described as anything but ‘Bad Art’…

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