The importance of reinvention can not be overstated in the music industry and while very few artists get the opportunity to try new paths in one career, some are blessed enough to attempt multiple styles without the fear. Billy Lockett’s Reflections is a clear example of what happens when an artist refuses to conform to expectations, either from audiences or themselves.
Coming off the back of his classical piano-led instrumental album, Together at Home, Billy’s latest effort is fraught with emotion as it relies heavily on his favoured instrument to provide the music for the stirring lyrics. After recently becoming an independent artist, dealing with dependency issues and the emotional rollercoaster that the previous year was, Reflections is a product of several years of heartfelt songwriting and the sort of experiences that change a person permanently.
Diving into the project, listeners are accosted by Wasting Time. The opening ballad begins with an intense rising piano. The lyrics are forlorn and wistful as he seeks redemption in his lover’s eyes, only to realize its futility halfway through. On Don’t Mean a Thing, many of the project’s recurring themes such as futility and acceptance are reinforced. The second song finds Billy embracing both sentiments wholeheartedly over a delightful classic piano while eliciting the uselessness of forcing himself back into a relationship he left. In the third record, Begging elicits his ever-present pop capabilities, kicking the commercial aspect of the project into gear. “Falling on my knees, I’m begging can you spare me the time, cause I gave you all of mine” screams a need for reciprocity, perhaps something he or his lover are unfamiliar with. InBetween delves the audience right back into another piano-led ballad. The lyrics are rife with doubt and acquiescence, highlighting the growth and maturity to be whatever his lover needs without compromise or consideration for himself or his needs.
Reflection’s lead single, Talk is sandwiched in the middle of the project. The Violet Skies assisted duet hones in on the loss of both parties, singing in unison the pair cut a picture of a couple unable to communicate as they used to, barred by intangible barriers such as the uncertainty surrounding a relationship. Doubts about each partner’s ability to still care for the other are raised. The recently released visuals for the record perfectly mirror the emotions evoked by the record itself. Silence is a fitting end for such an emotionally driven EP, even if it is possibly the most pop-oriented song on the project. Silence is aptly titled as its lyrics show a breakdown in communication, the hook “if it’s silence that you want, i’ll give you what you need, we don’t say enough to show each other what we mean” underline a common difficulty in relationships, the inability to share. Yielding the fate of the relationship to his lover’s whims, he ends the project on a somber but resolute note.
While many listeners might brand the project “a bunch of sad songs”, it is anything but. The maturity to come to terms with emotions and situations out of your control, while trying to improve the things that are within your grip is often taken for granted and met with derision. Being the bigger person is only ever applauded in stories and never in reality. Without seeking any virtue points, Billy bares his soul and maintains a stance to get better in every way, both professionally and personally.