Image via Will Joseph Cook

Image via Will Joseph Cook

From the first note sung on “Hearse,” British singer Will Joseph Cook’s voice announces itself as a jagged, alluring instrument. From its title to its coy look at a man (Cook) ending a relationship, “Hearse” packs a sort of winking, sunny morbidity, a big chorus nearly masking the bittersweet verses that build to it. The sound feels a born of a battle between Blur, Fyfe, Jens Lekman, and Coldplay in Cook’s brain, with the end result being a song that’s immediately familiar without being placeable to any one wellspring—and too personal to be readily labeled derivative. “Hearse” marks a strong step for an emerging British artist, memorably written and smartly dark.