Review – Sarah Jickling

Album: When I Get Better
Release date: July 14, 2017
Genre: Pop

Lead singer of the pop-rock band The Oh Wells, Sarah Jickling, is claiming the stage as herself this summer with her debut album, When I Get Better. Pairing unflinching honesty with soaring synths, all nine tracks of When I Get Better tackle mental illness, her own journey with bipolar disorder, and how that has impacted both her past and her present.

Opening track “You Let Me Down” is a sunshine-y, easy-flowing piece of songwriting genius: bubbly pop overtones clash with the severity of the lyrics, and the result is a jaunt that is both poignant and girlishly fun. Layered with strips of synth, Jickling’s beatific vocal range, and the toe-tapping beat, “You Let Me Down” is the perfect track to draw the curtain of the album back with.

Late-album song, the same-titled “When I Get Better”—rightfully named, as it is by far the most impressive of the album lyrically and musically—infuses folk strains in with Jickling’s virtuous, wholesome take on pop music. The deeply wistful atmosphere, coupled with the gentle strums of the guitar that take center stage and the confessional tone, mixes to form a song that is at once a tearjerker and piece of easy-listening that begs to be put on repeat.

Mellow, moving, and masterfully put together, When I Get Better is a sincere and captivating summer album, and Canadians should be excited to see it hit the shelves this July.

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