Single of the week: Wil Owen – Will It All Work Out?

by Paddy Kinsella

A sharp sense of nostalgia emotes from the debut single from Bristol-based Welsh singer-songwriter, Wil Owen. It’s odd how music can imbue such a specific feeling, but when I listen to Will It All Work Out?, I’m immediately transported back to that moment when the outside world begins to encroach on your childhood as the boundaries between adulthood and childhood blur and the walls of your bedroom become less watertight; your sanctuary more open to trespass.

Made of little more than a threadbare, unravelling guitar and some truly gorgeous harmonising, it’s testament to Owen’s songwriting that he can bring forth such emotion with so little. His detailing of the minutiae of life though is so on point – he sings of road signs, the dog he really misses and trash TV – you can’t help but surrender to the vivid sketches he draws and become part of that world yourself. It’s a skill afforded to few – Damien Jurado and Phil Elverum are masters of the art – and one Owen should harness.   

The song ends with footsteps and the sound of a fierce wind as if to complete the journey from childhood to adulthood – there’s no going back now, and no hiding from life’s most acute suffering. But, at least, with Will It All Work Out? he’s put the confusion we all feel into sharp focus and made us feel less alone in the vagaries of life – something only the best songwriters are capable of.

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