From the moment I clicked play on the newly released album of Sarah Jickling’s When I Get Better, I found myself engulfed in a pure state of imagination. I envisioned a stage of dancers moving fluidly under blue and pink pastel lights, alongside Sarah, who carries the story forward as each song comes to tell an honest and vulnerable part of her journey.
Varying from synth pop to acoustic indie, this album is as diverse in its content as it is in the styles explored. “You let me down,” the opening song, introduces the listener to the feel of the album. Its heavy and steady beat works in unison with the loaded lyrics, functioning like a melodically charged mantra, reminding the listener of the repetitive nature of the pain induced by mental illness. Although each song is distinct, each one contains a candid message that speaks towards the uncensored realities of those living with psychological distress.
The images of a stage with pastel light that manifested in my mind as I sat in bed listening to Sarah’s album was not far removed from reality. This upcoming October through May, Sarah will be donning the stage both as a solo artist and as part of the Reachout Psychosis Tour. Through the performance of live music by artists who themselves have dealt with issues of mental health, this project encourages conversation and education about these illnesses in secondary schools. Sarah’s bubbly and animated-pop projects light around a dark, ever-present and personal subject, which seems almost too perfect for any audience, be it high school students or adults. As, the album glows intrinsically, the bold vocals contrast smoothly with cotton candy instrumentals, encouraging an open space to question and reconstruct the stigmatism that linger around mental health.