Mainstream music in the UK currently boasts an eclectic range on genres. However, there’s a lack of bands that incorporate reggae, house, rock, ska and punk. Despite a budding underground scene and festivals such as Boomtown indulging in this fusion, it’s not crossing over to the charts. Will and the People have the capability of doing just that. A five-piece that formed at Glastonbury, they’ve been a band since 2010 and are currently touring through Europe. Essentially they offer easy-listening pop tunes but, with the inclusion of reggae and ska beats, there is more depth to them than that – comparative to famed band, The Specials.
Will and the People are on their own record label, Baggy Trouser Music, and released their first full length studio album in 2011 – now they have two. Even though both albums provide highly enjoyable listening experiences, the self-titled debut album is an overall more intriguing listen than their 2012 effort Friends. The 2011 album bounces from opening songs Troubled Pro and No Shame, cheery house/pop tunes that showcase lead singer Will’s vocal abilities; to Stranger, a slow tempo song with a darker edge; and Propellerheads, a unique piece that starts with a nursery rhyme-esque intro, indulges in guitar breaks and diverts into a fast paced ska/reggae segment. With the addition of a catchy tune based on a small lizard and a jovial song dedicated to a lion, the result is an album that boasts eleven songs all worthy of single status.
The second album is more consistent which, as a result, doesn’t offer the same surprises and excitable diversity that the first does. However, it’s not one to be dismissed. As soon as the opening song Holiday begins, you are comforted with the knowledge that the band has produced another hit that is a hybrid of genres. Further highlights include: Sensimilla, 100,000 Times Before and Friends.
Will and the People are still under the radar on the music scene but, with their brazenly infectious tunes and clear love for their trade, they’re sure to be climbing the chart ladder soon enough.