Pop, infused with soul, blues, and gospel, all meet on Austin Willacy’s latest sweet EP Gonna Be Alright. A miniature collection of cuts that showcase Willacy’s melodic panache and soulful charisma.

Austin Willacy is a singer and songwriter who is based in Berkeley, California. Willacy’s latest EP is a collaboration with his friend and Grammy-winning producer Rich Jacques. Having met at a songwriting immersive, through mutual friend Patricia Bahia, who also appears on the record, and immediately starting bonding, the duo’s tenacious musical chemistry is in full, rich display on the 5 songs that make up Gonna Be Alright.

Willacy’s sound is dominated by his own silken, caramel-sweet voice. An album rich with inspired soul performances, gospel choirs, and lush organs, Gonna Be Alright, with its tight and roomy mixes, is a delight from start to finish. Starting with the jubilant ‘No Apologies’ is a calculated move. Starting with the album’s most cheerful and upbeat song really tenders you up for the album’s more introspective and lyrically weighted songs. From the chanted yells in the chorus and the unapologetic, confidence-boosting lyrics, ‘No Apologies’ is a bright starter that will prepare you for the remaining songs with a smile on your face.

The album’s titular song is our first introduction to the EP’s soft, buoy, and gentle sound. Soul pop at its absolute best, when honeyed melodies and a priceless chorus from Willacy’s, the song’s gentleness is contrasted with the sheer power of the vocals, and the words that discuss the often-overlooked difficulties in relationships between siblings and inside families. A soothing song that is at once too quiet and too loud.

The album’s brightest gem lies at its very end, with the serene and quite breathtaking ‘Saw You in the Light’. Driven by a steady bass and drum groove that’s simple, melodic, and efficient. This rhythm section leaves ample space for Willacy’s inquisitive and wistful delivery, and for the wealth of pads that create a lush, cloudy atmosphere. A love song of the highest caliber, ‘I Saw You in the Light’ is a tribute to Willacy’s childhood friend Pete who left due to complications from cancer. A fitting tribute from a grieving friend whose emotions really do come through in the words, the inflictions of his voice, and in the sheer power in his yells. A perfect mix from Jacques helps the song reach its target. This gorgeous piece of soft pop is sad, peaceful, and is a safe, warm hug for those of us dealing with grief. Fitting, precious, and honest.

Austin Willacy has won me over from the first song on his latest EP, and if it was an EP of duds, Willacy would have had it all forgiven by just the grace of the record’s last song. Lovingly written, performed, and produced, Gonna Be Alright is a fantastic release that will soothe you, boost your confidence, give you space to be sad, and space to feel peaceful with loss, and with all that remains.