Every once in awhile, a piece of music comes along that signals a turning point. Whether it’s a single song or a whole album, no matter if it’s a change within the industry or for just one listener, it’s hard to deny when one hears something and realizes that it’s a sign of something wonderful that’s about to happen. With today’s release of singer-songwriter Will Linley’s debut EP, kill all my feelings, that exact feeling is conjured up tenfold.

Will Linley is the latest breakout star to arise from South Africa’s music scene, and for good reason. With his upbeat arrangements — usually featuring acoustic guitar mixed with South African and Western stylings — and 17 million steams under his belt since November of last year, it’s easy to see how Linley has poised himself for success. kill all my feelings continues his triumphant path forward in an impressive five-song debut that sees Linley exploring a variety of thoughts, styles and genres. Speaking about the EP, Linley states:

“The ‘kill all my feelings’ EP is a snapshot into my mind over the last 2 years and is an amalgamation of different sounds, feelings, and emotions … When putting this EP together I tried my best to never fall into ‘one sound’ for all my songs. I’ve tried to cover a variety of different genres throughout this project. Although each song has its own unique world, they somehow all fit together as a cohesive body of work, and that is why I love it so much. This EP is a part of my heart that I’m giving to the world and I’m so excited for everyone to hear it.”

The first track, “all the girls,” is a genuinely happy-sounding bop in the vein of Jason Derulo by way of Ed Sheeran. The beat is pulsing, while the acoustic guitar is like little stars sparkling overhead. It’s impossible not to smile as Linley sings, “I’m gonna love you / It’s a little bit bold, but oh / I’m gonna love you / Like I’ve never done before,” and feel like he’s singing directly to each individual listener.

Next is “miss me (when you’re gone),” which slows the pace a bit and adds a piano to the arrangement. With the lyrics, “When I met you in the summer we were falling in love / Thought it was a fling but that wasn’t enough / Caught up in our feelings at the very first touch / And all I want to say is / When I found you / I found me,” Linley tugs on listeners heartstrings with his recollection of first love.

“i don’t wanna be yours” follows, starting with a poppy baseline and growing by the end to a full-fledged arena pop song. With little details like, “It’s been a week and I wanna believe that you’re doing okay / I saw you dyed your hair and then blocked me the very next day,” Linley delivers a song where he revels in romantic freedom while trying not to break the object of his (former) affection’s heart.

The penultimate song is “wrong time,” which sounds like Shawn Mendes’ best music in terms of arrangement and vocal power. In the track — which plays like a mini-film in audio form — Linley belts, sing-talks and even laughs through his heartache as he reminisces about the girl he once loved and lost: “She was the right girl at the wrong time / Asked me for a light and burned the butterflies.”

“kill all my feelings” closes out the EP on a strong note. The song is the most rock-centric and brutally honest in its love confession: “I see a ghost riding shotgun / One day we’ll start trying to outrun / That second-guessing keeps on messing with me and you / Don’t wanna ruin the friendship / But don’t wanna numb all my senses/ That second-guessing keeps on messing with me and you.”

With kill all my feelings, Will Linley sounds ready to take on a global arena and show the world the extent of his refreshing and thoughtful musical talents. He has already completed a successful, sold-out run in South Africa, and is set to support fellow South-African musician Matthew Mole in Europe and the UK starting August 11. Now, it’s just a matter of time before Linley’s name, in its own right, is deservedly uttered alongside other greats within the music world.

Will Linley’s EP, kill all my feelings, releases today via BMG. You can — and should — take a listen to the entirety of this wonderful debut below!

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