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  • Conner Pettit

Review: "Tough (The Girls Song)" - Will Linley

Love can be just as magical as it is heartbreaking. Will Linley discusses such unrequited romance in his new single “Tough (The Girls Song)”, leaping forward when the other person couldn’t do the same. He says “it kinda sucks, my whole heart wasn’t enough”, hitting upon the tough lesson that the wrong people will never be satisfied, even with your absolute best. There’s something originally poignant in Will’s delivery of “girls just wanna have fun”—something many will connect with, committing to other people yet no one, fully, committing to you.

Starting with punk-pop guitar, Will’s crisply engaging voice—containing a deeper tone that blends well with upbeat, pop production—reminds me of well-known artists Jeremy Zucker and David Kushner. Vocally, I appreciate how he accentuates certain words, almost like digging from one‘s chest (ex. flicking the word “doing” and elongating the phrase “kills me”). The verse jumps into a catchy hook, with thumpy drums, 80s-sounding guitar strumming, and bright, energetic vocals while the second verse uses more prominent drum beats, building momentum with twinkly, retro guitar. I really enjoyed his delivery of the common phrases “girls just wanna have fun” and “now you’re the one that got away”, making them original and unique to his masculine/feminine aesthetic. The entire song flows extremely well and I’m excited to play it on my next road trip with friends.

Originally from South Africa, Will has created metaphorical waves in pop music, amassing 40+ million streams across platforms and ~950 K monthly listeners on Spotify. Featuring crisp guitar plucking, original rhythms, and anthemic tales of romance, Will released his first single “Miss Me (when you’re gone)” last year, followed by the EP “kill all my feelings.” Making use of playful, beachy production and reggae-influenced vocals, his music (e.g. Last Call) details specific memories of youth, encouraging a unique type of optimism and exploration. Inspired by the likes of Lewis Capaldi and Dean Lewis, he signed to Island Records, collaborating with the well-known producer Jackson Foote to create his most recent single “Tough (The Girls Song)”. I often don’t listen to this type of pop music but everything from his voice, production, to the song’s innate energy felt super genuine and well done—being the first male artist (I’ve come across) who adds an energetic spin to real life dating struggles. His UK tour starts soon and he’s definitely a live act to see!

Written By: Conner Pettit



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