Oh, Whinnie Williams, how can we count the ways we love you?
Remember the first time you heard Lily Allen and it felt so magical and new? Or the first time you heard Ellie Goulding, perhaps? Well, Whinnie Williams’ Bad Girl EP is just as wonderful and exciting, primed to give you a rush like sugar and caffeine simultaneously jolting your brain into hyper mode. Sweet, sweet, sweet euphoria.
Of course, some of you will already know what the Whinnie Williams experience feels like because she’s spent the past year dropping mixtapes full of intoxicating tunes while working tirelessly in the studio. She’s also found time to write for other artists during recent years, including A-listers like Madonna and Nicola Roberts. (Nicola Roberts is an A-lister and you know it. Don’t hate.) She’s even toured with La Roux and Ellie Goulding and cut a featured vocal for Professor Green’s new album.
Bad Girl was produced by none other than Future Cut, who’s been making a name for himself producing tracks for Lily Allen, Shakira, and Dizzee Rascal, among others. It opens with “Don’t You Love Me,” a swirling tune that calls to mind ’60’s girls groups and vintage French pop all at once, yet sounds very modern. Much in the same way that Amy Winehouse managed to sound retro and current simultaneously. But where Amy’s vocals were bold and her beats boisterous, Whinnie’s music thus far is lighter, almost having an airy quality about it. It is not, however, lacking substance. “Don’t You Love Me” is full of serious melancholy, Whinnie pouring her heart out about a boy who doesn’t love her like she loves him. A bit like an old Barbara Streisand tune. So while her voice might sound fluffy like a cloud, her words describe the devastating pain one feels when their puppy love crush doesn’t reciprocate. Heavy stuff.
“Break Hearts in Your Sleep” follows and is like a lighter version of a Mowtown ballad. “You break hearts in your sleep / So what’s wrong with me / I really want to sleep beside you,” Whinnie sings, her voice once again dripping with tears, yet the song is also full of swooning bliss. Sometimes it’s just nice to be in love even if the object of your affection hasn’t paid you any attention.
“Oopsy Daisy” reveals a different side of Whinnie; calm, cool and collected. Here, she’s the devious heartbreaker and she’s not apologizing for it. Not for a second. “Shame on me / You can always put the blame on me / But I won’t be losing any sleep tonight,” she sings and it’s easy to picture an evil grin on her face. Very Lily Allen-esque, though the music remains Whinnie’s deliciously retro yet courant sound. I could see Whinnie blasting this one on a boombox outside of some silly boy’s house, rubbing it in his nose that she’s not interested.
The EP closes with “Stupid Things,” an especially mellow, percussion-less number about the regret you feel when you’ve let someone go and soon realize you actually love them but it’s too late to win them back. “So somebody please take this pain away / Cause it’s knocking on my door all night and day,” she sings during the devastating bridge. “Out of all the stupid things I’ve said / Saying nothing is what I regret,” goes part of the chorus, which finds Whinnie’s voice with a touching air of delicacy. Clearly, Whinnie excels at wearing her heart on her sleeve and is more than willing to bleed for her art. Rarely do pop starlets deliver such brutally honest and emotive songs. So, even if Whinnie’s songs are retro, the wholly accessible lyrics and her sweet as honey voice should help them up the charts anyway. Be that person in your group of friends who hears things first and check her out now so you can be the one to tell your friends about the next big — and best — thing.