Sick Wish is a post-punk/new wave outfit from Boise, Idaho who boasts a sound that merges the old and the new. If you have an inkling for melodic indie rock with a dash of nostalgia, then their latest effort “Goodbye Sun Hello Moon” might be right down your alley. This album definitely leans towards the melancholic, and the imagery I get from listening to their music (with help from its title title) is twilight. It’s an interesting mix between light and dark. That short little pocket between day and night – where the sky is full of oranges, purples and beautiful-washed out textures. Take for example their second song “Midwinter”, with its laid-back tempo and percolating synths that subtly glide beneath the surface. The song has the narrator searching for the light amidst a sea of darkness: “I’m tired of this black”. The contrast of bright guitars and brooding rhythms makes this struggle for hope front and center. It’s this theme that the band plays around with for most of its songs, and I’d confidently say it doesn’t get old.
Following track “Translation Lost” captures the feeling of restlessness and anxiety when having a misunderstanding with someone. The title track is a hook-filled tune with washed out vocals that drape the whole song in sadness. An interesting mixture of surf and new wave sounds that feels perfectly serves the overall concept. One of my favorites however is the instrumental “CHD”. I’m not sure why but this dancy, upbeat track just latches on to you with its fuzzy disco beats and never lets go.
The remaining songs in the album delve into heavier territory, by this part the sun has fully subsided and the moon looms proudly above the night sky. “At the End” is a gloomy song full of remembrance that showcases the goth side of Sick Wish. “Unsaid” comes in even darker with its ruminations on mortality and how tragic things that are left unsaid can be. The album closer “So Strange” puts the themes of the previous tracks and condenses it into something with more weight and purpose. The drums feel more deliberate, the synths and guitars more intent in the struggle to search for the brighter side of life.
Goodbye Sun Hello Moon is a wonderful gem of indie rock. It’s a newer take on new wave and a celebration of the rich sounds of this wonderful genre.