Album release: As The Crow Flies by Will Varley
Release date: 2 September 2013
Label: Smugglers Records
Listen: on official Will Varley website

July 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 countryside.

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. 

Reaction to date

“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 Music 

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