Stuart on SoundCloud
Stuart Wills was born in Devon in 1975. During his childhood he lived in a village in the Teign Valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. He later moved to a town in Mid-Devon where he spent his teenage years. Stuart currently lives with his family in the Devon city of Exeter.
Stuart was songwriter, lead guitarist and sometime lead singer of the Exeter band Sand. Sand’s first gig was in support of Liverpool's Cecil, and they also supported Muse at Exeter’s Cavern Club. Later, Stuart was lead guitarist in the band Savalis before going solo.
Stuart has released two solo albums, 2001’s The Cold Light of Day, and 2009’s Watching The World Passing By. Also, Stuart has seven tracks included on the Squealing Fans In My Tune Evan Dando/Lemonheads tribute projects. Stuart has a wide range of influences including bands like The La’s, Oasis and The Verve, and singer-songwriters such as Nick Drake, Judee Sill, John Martyn and many others.
It was during the early 00s that Stuart met Jason Applin (Bennett, Here Are The Young Men), they found they shared a mutual admiration for Elliot Smith’s music and formed the duo Vending Machine Heart. The duo released The Vending Machine Heart e.p. in 2007 which consisted of five sparsely arranged songs with rich vocal harmonies. Vending Machine Heart’s sound has been described as two parts Elliot Smith to one part Simon & Garfunkel. Around the time of the E.p.’s release the duo supported American singer-songwriter Mindy Smith and Canadian band Caribou. After an almost 10-year hiatus Vending Machine Heart have started working on new material.
Stuart and Julie Yount’s paths crossed many times at various music venues which eventually led to them striking on the idea of collaborating. In 2009 Stuart and Julie formed the duo The Sidewalk Anthem. The Sidewalk Anthem has a passion for spare song arrangements and the emotional songwriting and atmospheres of artists such as Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Neil Young and Carole King. The duo are currently recording original songs for their debut release.