I’m not gonna lie, I was tempted to put a click-bait title on this album review. Why? Well, I’m used to straightforward femme-centered indie rock being sad, and the vibe off the bat with Wished Bone is usually sunny. Warm guitars and airy, conversational vocals make a statement that’s unusually pleasant in sound for a song titled “Hold Me.”
“Cops” isn’t as bright as the album opener, but remains wistful. It’s rather stream of consciousness in lyricism, waxing poetic with thoughts that at first glance seem to be disconnected but really are not when you listen with intention. The song ends with a simple line: “bored with the things the cops have their paws on” repeated several times to communicate a theme. Suddenly, the line earlier in the song “Something is wrong with this girl from Ohio” makes sense. Ashley Rhodus does a good job communicating boredom and apathy in lyrics that could easily be formed into a song about rebellion if you just left out a couple of lines.
“Saucer Eyes” hit me because of the matter of fact way it describes the rougher side of DIY touring in a manner that’s as much peaceful as it is resigned. Contrast thoughts describing the grind as a “Sick and sweet Appalachian dream” with “This cigarette feels like a prison, sitting in a hotel room,” and suddenly I have conflicting emotions. On one hand, as someone who doesn’t know what it’s like to tour, I’m tempted to romanticize the experience. On the other hand, I feel sorry for bands in Wished Bone’s position.
The LA-based-by-way-of-Athens-OH band is talented at communicating many different sentiments within a relatively laid back paradigm, I hope you’re realized by now. “Sarah” is a simple love song that adds in some reverb drenched saxophone and piano; I’m picturing the band taking a stroll down a bright nature trail down the street from a run-down IHOP mentioned in “Saucer Eyes.” Some songs, like “Trees We Couldn’t Tell the Size Of” and “The One Who,” are simply straightforward midtempo tracks that work well as chill coffee shop music (where I’m typing this review, what a surprise!).
Will Wished Bone continue to put Athens, OH on the indie music map? Time will tell. Sap Season is a good start.