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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Homesick" - Cloe Wilder

As a concept, home represents more than shelter. There's a comfort, safety, and fondness associated with it that transcends a physical place. On her latest single, "Homesick," singer/songwriter Cloe Wilder writes of what should feel like home, yet is plagued by a pervasive hollowness. Delicate, fluttering strings swell over gentle strums of an acoustic guitar with the haunting stillness of an abandoned cottage. Wilder's vocals, wispy and longing, coat the rustic instrumentation like resin over antique furnishing. As reverb-soaked percussion thumps through the chorus, the 17-year-old singer/songwriter's voice lifts atop layers of threadbare harmonies. In the song's second-half, background vocals processed to sound like wailing apparitions ink over the track, adding to the melancholic atmosphere.

More than a physical location, often home is a person or people. "Homesick" is penned directly to the person who has failed to be that home. "I'm living alone here, and you can't deny it," Wilder tells them, "I've got two controllers and no one to play." Throughout the song, she aches with the willingness to be a home for someone who won't do the same for her. Often this voice can appear fragmented — such as when she remarks "everyone's laughing, but I missed the punchline" — but these details express the unified theme of dissonance and isolation. Wilder understands perfectly the intricacies of loneliness from a social perspective. Being the only person in the room can be lonely, but being deprived of consideration and care can be desolation for the heart.

17-year-old Cloe Wilder has been a consistent voice of youth ennui and melancholia since the release of her debut EP, Teenage Lullabies, in 2021. Learning piano and writing songs from a young age, Wilder has nurtured a unique and clear-eyed perspective to her music. Working with a series of significant collaborators across projects, there's an undeniable energy behind the young talent as an upcoming star. Wilder's sophomore EP is in the works, unofficially set for release later next year. Accompanying the release of "Homesick" is a stunning music video, directed by Gus Black, featuring the singer/songwriter in various, empty locations, fitting the song's themes.

Written By Andy M.

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