About Willy Mason

"Yes, you read that right: Willy Mason's Carry On is a perfect record. Perfect - we wouldn't  
change a note!" - American Songwriter 
  
"Equal parts hobo and Holden Caulfield...Willy Mason blends precocious 
lyricism, spare, jangly guitar, and a world-weary voice that 
sounds older than his years." - Rolling Stone

"Mason's lo-fi blues/folk blend is refreshingly humble and unostentatious.  Instead of using 
these standards as a springboard for modern adventures in composition, he sticks to their rawboned essence. Unlike some of his peers, Mason doesn't play up that rawness; instead he allows those old Progressions to work their magic..." -Pitchfork 

Carry On, produced by Dan Carey (MIA, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand), is Mason's debut full-length album for Communion Records, the influential UK based record label co-founded by Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons). The label has been home to notable artists Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, Gotye, Daughter and more.

Willy was just 19 when he was discovered by an associate of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), which led to the release of his debut album, Where the Humans Eat on Oberst's Team Love record label. It was a record that showed us a young man with a tremendous, broad-oaked voice, a great songwriting talent, and a peculiar wisdom beyond his years.  In 2007, he returned with If The Ocean Gets Rough, an album that only underlined his ability to capture the spirit of a time, a place, and a generation. Mason earned massive critical commercial in the UK, selling 150k records and performing to thousands as a headline artist.  

In the years that followed, Mason kept himself busy: writing songs of course, but also playing in friends' bands, promoting shows, teaching music classes, as well as a little shell-fishing, and hosting a radio talk show called 'The Fish & Farm Report'. "The diversity and the range of experiences gave me a chance to learn a lot more about music." Mason says. "I got to further my musicianship. I came to see playing shows and entertainment as a fundamental part of society, and I'm just playing my role."  Willy was also featured in the video for "No Room For Doubt" (approaching one million views on Youtube), a collaboration between he and breakout artist, Liana LaHavas, which helped launch her career in the UK.
 
All the while, Mason was accumulating a clutch of new songs that would make up Carry On. On his relationship with Carey, Mason states: "Dan was a musical collaborator, and so he had a big influence on the sound," Mason says "He was able to make the beats sound so human, and so it felt like the tracks were laid and I could kind of let go a bit more."
 
Letting go is perhaps the greatest theme of Carry On. It's present in the rhythms - hints of dub and reggae infusing Mason's characteristic folk structures, and in his voice as well , which swings from gravel-deep to something higher, flightier and more fragile. And of course, it's also packed tight in these songs' lyrics; songs about self-doubt, about love and lost connections, the death of a friend, and a broader, bolder sense of the changing world around us. There is a hope rising anew. Mason says, "I think the album itself is about growing up and trying to find one's place," Mason says, "about making peace with the past, accepting it as part of one's identity and moving forward."

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