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William Russell Wallace – ‘Just A Little Joy (But It's A Real Big Deal)’

  • 2 min read

An artist with more than a few tales to tell, William Russell Wallace wrote his first record, the acclaimed ‘Dirty Soul’ while in rehab, releasing it last year before setting out on a massive string of shows across the United States. A fine tapestry of life lessons and indie rock anthems, William’s debut LP paved the way for more to come, and while the global pandemic may have postponed plans release a new record and tour even more, William is determined to keep his flame burning brightly.

A second LP of sorts, ‘Just A Little Joy (But It's A Real Big Deal)’ arrives as bold, new collection of songs, available to download for free or by kind donation. Encompassing seven original tracks of new and yet-to-be-released singles, the new record aims to bring some joy to these turbulent times, and even after the most cursory of listens, it’s easy to see that it does just that.

Recorded at Heavy Meadows in Idyllwild, CA, and with the combined musical talents of William, Travis Talbert. Charlie Woodburn, Amanda Addy, and Brett Puryear, ‘Just A Little Joy (But It's A Real Big Deal)’ is easily one of this year’s most frank and honest releases, offering free and unapologetic wisdom for all who want to hear it. Opening with the title track, the record paints a rustic, slow-burning melody, wandering through the textured indie soundscape with its own pace and sense of atmosphere. It’s a spirited, country-infused number that shines with authenticity, offering a helping hand and freely given kindness to its audience.

Second cut, ‘Mormon Cocaine’ wraps itself in a warm and comfortable sound that sweeps across William’s own lyrical wonderings, while ‘Lover, I am Overwhelmed’ rolls on with a timeless sense of melancholy. It’s a delicate pairing, one that brilliantly showcases a more expressive side to William’s sound, something that he carries forward in the touching ‘I Found A Reason’, a song of hope, promise, and unwavering self-belief. A deft cover of The Velvet Underground, it's easily one of the highlights on the release.

In ‘Faded Paradise (Don’t Mean A Damn Thing)’, William pushes forward into more traditional rock territory, creating a spirited sound that breaks through the more ambient, swirling sounds of its predecessors, before ‘If I Leave LA’ fades into view, offering a final rustic rock anthem filled with deeply human moments. Closing on the records second cover, a fine version of ‘Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ ‘No Second Thoughts’, William finishes his triumphant release on a definitive high.

Available now on all major platforms, and with each track set to be released as singles in the coming months, ‘Just A Little Joy (But It's A Real Big Deal)’ is a wholesome and heartfelt project that every listener will be able to connect with.

You can download the full album for free on William’s official Bandcamp page, or head over to Soundcloud via the link below where you can stream it round the clock.

Score: 8/10

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