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"Wisecrack" An Album by Haley Blais

“Wisecrack” is Haley Blais’ confessional sophomore album released back in September of 2023. The album is dark and emotional and covers themes such as nostalgia, anxiety, morality, and ego. The Vancouver based singer-songwriter has just released the deluxe version of the album earlier this month with the newly added songs, “Somebody’s Son”, “Concrete 2”, and a live version of “Survivor’s Guilt”. 

The album starts off with the song, “Soft spot for monarchs” which is a repetitive yet captivating song with haunting harmonies. It uses many echoing and overlapping effects to represent what’s to come in the album. The opening song then leads into one of the singles, “Survivor’s Guilt”. The title itself tells us what the song is about, the feelings of guilt we face when dealing with loss. The song uses vivid imagery to evoke the same feelings of grief she has. The next song, “Coolest f****** b**** in town” is one of the other singles released for this album. The song talks about her emotions following her parents divorce and her ego. The line “Coolest f****** b**** in town” is repeated over and over again at the end of the song and in her live performances she has the crowd scream this line with her. It is a powerful moment that promotes self-love and confidence. 

The next song “Reset button” talks about the feeling we have of “hitting the reset button” when we break up with someone and enter a new relationship. While this could be seen as sad or disappointing she talks about the comfort she gets from this, specifically in the line, “I’m not scared of taking chances I think failure is romantic”. The fifth song, “Matchmaker” switches gears completely. The song talks about the first stages of a relationship and the feeling that it’s “too good to be true”. The next song “Concrete” is a beautiful song about falling in love and having that person to comfort them and is accompanied by harp. This is expressed through a story of “cement being poured in the place where we live” that keeps “everything immortalized”. 

The other single from the album titled, “The Cabin” has juxtaposing sounds and feelings through its calm and quiet verse that is quickly interrupted by loud and jarring distorted guitar. This gives the listener the feeling of unease as she talks about different memories from her childhood cabin. The next song, “Baby Teeth” talks about nostalgia and “wanting her baby teeth back”. The song is easy to relate to in wanting to go back to more simple childhood memories. The song, “Body” talks about trauma and the mundane everyday feelings of being an adult. She explains this feeling of mundane and boring adult life in the line, “Don’t ask me any questions about all the things I’ve done cause nothing ever changes”. 

One of the last songs, “Winner” is a sad yet comforting song with the lines, “the rocks we eat are getting softer” and “my songs will make sense in thirty years”. The last track, “Beginner’s guide to birdwatching” closes out the album in a sweet and sentimental way. The song starts with just her voice and slowly builds with members of her family singing the same line with her. The repeating line, “One minute she wasn’t there and then the next minute there she was” talks about the birth of her niece which you can hear cooing and playing in the background. This album is a great listen with many relatable themes and lines. The album explores many universal feelings and experiences that anyone can connect with. 

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