The pitch I got for Willy Nilly’s ‘Confused and Rejuvenated’ EP said that it’s “about trying to replace bitterness and cynicism with hopeful optimism during a challenging time”. Yup, I’m sold and this sounds like just what I could use tonight so let’s see if they were right about the description!

This uber-quick five-song EP starts with “What Are We Gonna Do If The Drugs Run Out?”. I was instantly intrigued. The intro on this song is just a guy, a guitar, and a fairly rough recording style but it works and it really drew me in. Quickly, that sound is replaced by a full band sound (honestly, I was a bit relieved) that came in like a giant hug of comfort. There’s an almost reggae vibe to the vocals but the instrumentation feels more straight-up indie rock. I love the mix because it’s hard to compare to anything else that I’ve heard lately. Regardless of what I would (or would not) compare this to, I loved the soul-freeing vibe of this opening track and I was desperate for more of it.

At five and a half minutes long, “See You Again” is the longest track on this EP but it honestly didn’t feel like this. Although the tempo and overall style of this track are laid back, it seemed to fly by. It starts with a powerful and anthemic feeling before moving into something that can only be described as more organic and natural. It doesn’t follow and clear genre lines and I’m quickly catching onto that is Willy Nilly’s MO and I love it. This song comes off as more of a love song than the first track but the lyrics are definitely not about love… more about love lost. Even with the heavy nature of the words, the way they are presented do have a more optimistic feeling to them and now that intro email is starting to make sense.

“Mystery Meats” Is another super calming track with lyrics that are a bit too real for this day and age. It’s another soft song that just comes over you like a hug. I don’t know how else to explain it but this is the perfect track (and EP for that matter) to play when you’re having a high-anxiety day. It seriously just calms you down and brings you this odd sense of inner peace. That feeling continues and grows stronger during “Cool Now”. The instrumentation comes forward a bit with it’s driving force taking control of the track while the vocals continue to dance over them without a sense of power struggle that one would think could happen. It’s a really fine line that Willy nilly is balancing during this track but they do it so effortlessly. This, among other aspects, really makes them stand out from other acts that I’ve been hearing lately and it’s a lot like a breath of fresh air.

Ending this EP is “All That I Can Do Is Laugh”. Sadly, this is the shortest track on the album which makes the ending feel so much more sudden. That being said, this was also my favorite track. I feel like there’s no way to listen to someone playing harmonica without smiling and that’s what this track kicks off with so I was grinning from ear to ear instantly. This is one of those “get up and dance” tracks which is the perfect way for this extremely interesting genre-bending band to end this EP. You really get to see a lot of sides of this band throughout these five tracks and I feel like “All That I Can Do Is Laugh” not only showcases all of those sides but also brings some new vibes to the mix. What a fun ending to a fun EP!

My Favorite Track(s): “All That I Can Do Is Laugh”

For Fans Of: Genre-Bending music; Carefree Vibes; Optimism

Daydream-ability: 6 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie snacked on his dinner; Autumn hid in the closet upstairs because of the thunder

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 7.2 out of 10

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