|Album Review: Healy—Tungsten|
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“Everything’s fine” Healy assures on the second track of his newest album, Tungsten. And he’s right, this album will give you the calming feeling and assurance that no matter what is going on in the world, that everything is fine, and you can handle it. Tungsten is a low-key album of surrealist dreams, personal follies, and the acceptance of every part of life. It’s very personal and pleasant, never over-asserting itself, but rather presenting itself in an approachable and liberated manner.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Healy uses the trope of the big music city transplant to his full advantage, creating an eclectic style that combines the best of heartfelt Tennessee songwriting with the production power of a major record label. He taught himself guitar after graduating high school, and began posting his music online while working on a medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Healy is a living example of following your dreams, even if you have multiple.
Healy’s music style is incredibly diverse, and on this album he switches through several different vocal stylings of singing, rapping, and talking. Musically speaking, it’s a really good and fun album, with a lot of playback value. Songs like “Back on the Fence” and “Everything’s Fine” are calming, catchy and convivial. “Nikes On” is a hit, and has the lively feeling of being the ‘song of the summer’ even though we’re in the dead of Winter. According to Healy, the song first began back in 2017 during a writing camp in Silver Lake. In his Atwood Magazine interview, he said “it serves as a reminder to be self-aware and present because time never stops… Time is yours for the taking, not the other way around.” In his music, Healy dilutes important topics of the human psyche into catchy songs.
This album is heavy on the use of 3D audio, taking random clips of water streaming, or crickets chirping, and weaving it into the song to make more than something to along to; a journey through time and space. The tonal gradients shift seamlessly throughout the album, with each song flowing into the next with ease. Nothing is abrupt here, everything is in its place as it should be. Thematically, this work is an introspective pilgrimage into how one should deal with emotions, heartbreak, time passing; the facts of life. Healy doesn’t tell the listener what to do, but instead shares his experience, hoping you can draw your own inspiration and insights from what he’s been through.
This album shines thanks to the collaboration of Public Library Commute, who co-produces the album with Healy and features on “Back in Time”. On songs like this, it’s more than just singing and playing instruments, but creating an aural journey in the listener’s headspace. The sound oozes luscious sensuality, and glimmers across the whole album.
Tungsten is 13 tracks and 33 minutes long. The album is digestible, listener friendly, and open to personal interpretations. Healy’s second album shows off his versatility and growth as an artist, and it will be exciting to see what comes next.