Album Review: Billy Cullum – Whatever Happened Next

Whatever Happened Next is the second album release from London-born queer pop artist and actor Billy Cullum. An autobiographical story that journeys from his early years to present day, it’s a raw, vulnerable collection that explores themes of relationships, sexuality, mental health and identity.

By Graeme Smith

The album opens with Gold, a delicate folk pop track that draws you in with its poetic, storytelling lyrics and nostalgic details. Billy’s vocals are mesmerising, especially during a soaring, singalong chorus that brims with an undercurrent of regret.

Title track Whatever Happened Next is a percussive yet melancholic dance number. Say My Name opens with an energetic chant and funky electric guitar. It’s bright and optimistic, and speaks of self-doubt and love. Twisted is an intimate indie pop moment with a catchy, sweeping chorus. It’s a highlight. The Key closes the first half of the album with vocals that seem to be imparting a secret against a backdrop of soft and upbeat pop.

Crashed Into You gives us moody R&B while Maybe for the Better is powerful, life-affirming electro pop. Radio On is a pensive moment full of heartbreak. To All of the Hands is meditative and bittersweet. It perfectly captures the power of self-worth and finishes strong. So Bright then closes the album with a rustic, folk pop reflection.

Billy Cullum’s sophomore album is a triumph. Its storytelling is utterly absorbing and its emotion is beautifully brought to life through his soulful vocals and pop sensibilities. If you’re just coming to Billy’s music now, as I am, you’re in for a treat.

Whatever Happened Next was written by Billy Cullum with additional writing from Kaity Rae. It was produced by J MAC. You can give the album a listen below.