“I want my therapist to think I’m cool”: Haley Blais Is Beautifully Exposed on ‘Wisecrack,’ Her Unapologetic & Unfiltered Sophomore LP

Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker
Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker
Haley Blais takes us track-by-track through her beautiful, breathtaking sophomore album ‘Wisecrack,’ an achingly intimate, unapologetic, and unfiltered indie rock record that dives headfirst into the murky and muddy, yet nonetheless wondrous depths of our shared human experience.
for fans of Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, BAILEN, Charli Adams
Stream: “Coolest f*ing bitch in town” – Haley Blais




There’s nothing like spilling your soul in song – but completely gutting it? Haley Blais has set a new standard.

I’d kill to be a sensitive person, but my heart, it beats too closely to the blade,” the singer/songwriter admits at the start of her sophomore album, her voice a beacon of passion and unadulterated vulnerability – somewhere halfway between a cathartic confession and a bold declaration. “And if I pierce it (and I’ve come close), I’d just pour salt into the wound because I hate the sweetness of the blood.” Gently, delicately, Blaise breaks herself in two for all to see, hear, and feel the turmoil within – all while she herself attempts to put as much distance between her mind and her emotions as humanly possible.

We can never really escape ourselves, though, can we?

All told, “Soft spot for monarchs” proves an undeniably head-turning, provocative entrance – and the perfect introduction to Wisecrack, an intimate indie rock record that aches from the inside out as Haley Blais slowly processes the dissolution of her parents’ marriage.

Wisecrack - Haley Blais
Wisecrack – Haley Blais
Crying in the backseat of your parent’s car
You said that you don’t have a curfew anymore
23 and trying to keep your life from going sour
And your mother’s getting married in fall
And you know that she is happy
That things will be okay
But you wonder what’ll happen Christmas Day
And I don’t know what to tell you
To make you not feel sad
So I offer my condolences to dad
Am I just a hypocrite
Or is there something wrong with it
I want my therapist to think I’m cool
I call you from the office phone
to ask you to come drive me home

Okay I’m just a liar I never went
But if you see me out
Know I’m the coolest f*cking bitch in town
You want to drink a drink that’s watered down
It’ll just take you longer
– “Coolest f*ing bitch in town,” Haley Blais

Divorce, it turns out, is one helluva drug. Released September 15, 2023 via Arts & Crafts, Wisecrack is unapologetic and unfiltered. Haley Blais’ stunning second full-length effort – arriving three full years after the Vancouver-based artist’s 2020 debut album, Below the Salt – blends brutally honest inner reckonings and unflinching observations on life and love with her own homespun charisma, wit, warmth, and charm. The result is hauntingly beautiful and altogether breathtaking: A raw, candid deep-dive headfirst into the murky, muddy depths of our shared human experience.

Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker
Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker



“It’s essentially me processing my parents’ divorce in real time; coming into myself as an adult and being in love, watching my brother start a new family after watching his own fall apart,” Haley Blais tells Atwood Magazine. “It exposes me. I think I hid behind my first record; I really don’t see myself in those songs anymore. I might not see myself in Wisecrack in a few years, either.”

“I wanted to try a bunch of new things sonically,” she adds. “Have my voice up front, so close you can hear saliva and my voice breaking. I wanted imperfections, but I also wanted it to be fun. A contrast to the content.”

Very much not a comedy album (“Are you saying you didn’t laugh?” Blais quips), yet still filled with moments of light and mirth, Wisecrack is a musical and emotional rollercoaster full of salty tears and wistful smiles, cheeky laughs and churned stomachs, open wounds, achey hearts, and so much more.

“I love the way it feels in my mouth,” Blais says of the title itself. “Wisecrack. I think the word perfectly encapsulates the person I was in these songs.”

That person, she continues, might best be described as an “adult of divorce.”




Haley Blais © Steph Verschuren
Haley Blais © Steph Verschuren



And maybe it’s this fact – that she’s already an adult, experiencing these turbulent emotions and traumatic events in real time – that makes this album’s content so unassailable and all-consuming. There’s nowhere for her to hide – or, perhaps it would be better to say that Blais chooses not to hide. She’s an open book, exposed and fully present in her singing, her writing, and hand-wringing and reckoning.

From the unrest of the richly radiant pop-rocker “Survivor’s Guilt” and the blood-curdling sonic (and emotional) schisms ricocheting throughout “The Cabin” and “Body,” to the sweet dappled sunlight shining down on “Beginner’s guide to birdwatching,” Wisecrack channels a series of intimate eruptions into one seemingly cohesive and cathartic – if not very comprehensive – therapy session.

The sludgy, emotionally charged “Winner” has a way of breaking us down while simultaneously building us back up again, while the irresistible, tongue-in-cheek single “Coolest f*cking bitch in town” stands out for its enchanting melodies and bare, diaristic and penetrative lyrics.

Never said that it was funny, but I’m laughing anyway
Instead of holding on, I dropped the rope into the lake
I’m drowning
Never said that it was easy, but we’re cruising anyway
This boat is going faster than my eyes can even say
I’m flying
If it’s just a hesitation, will we ever see that place?
A beer soaked memory, who gave me beer in seventh grade?
Mom’s spying
Why is it so hard to get up on the board?
I’ll sleep in the hot room ’til they call me for more




Haley Blais © Steph Verschuren
Haley Blais © Steph Verschuren

“I’ve never been the ‘coolest f*cking bitch in town,’ but I’ve told myself I was. It’s this pathetically triumphant paradox, no one can really crown themselves the coolest,” Blais says. “But at the times you’re the most pitifully lonely, you have these flashes of being the most pitifully cocky, where you have to hide your pain from yourself by rocking out, looking yourself in the eye and convincing yourself you’re a high roller, you’re the homecoming queen, you’re the coolest bitch alive. What a sad prize!”

“But you can make it feel like a prize if you lie hard enough,” she continues. “People are scared of being uncool… it’s a very honest, naked moment. I once heard “the only true currency there is in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” I wanted to make a song that was a big victorious lie. This song’s about that last death rattle right before that honest moment, one last gasp of air, one last push to be the coolest f*cking bitch in town before it all falls apart.”

Later on in “Baby Teeth,” Blais yearns for an impossible return to her bygone days of innocence and youth. In “Matchmaker,” she spills her innermost insecurities with graceful finesse and compelling confidence. And in the gentle, gorgeous harp-fueled ballad “Concrete,” she reflects on the limitless wonders of love and intimate connection.

Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker
Haley Blais © Mackenzie Walker



Wisecrack is up-close and personal, charming and churning, chaotic and controlled.

“I just hope listeners can make it their own,” Blais shares. “I gave a lot of myself in the making of this album that it’s almost strange to think that it’s out now. But then on the other hand it also feels like it’s been out for 20 years, not 2 months. I guess I’m kind of tortured about it. But that’s probably how every comedian feels about their comedy album.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Haley Blais’ Wisecrack with Atwood Magazine as she takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

— —

:: stream/purchase Wisecrack here ::
:: connect with Haley Blais here ::
Stream: ‘Wisecrack’ – Haley Blais



:: Inside Wisecrack ::

Wisecrack - Haley Blais

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Soft spot for monarchs

This is a song about denying yourself the ability to feel anything deeper than surface level and the fear of what those feelings mean about you.

Survivor’s Guilt

The death of the family dog unties the rest of the family, and you’re left sitting amongst the rubble of your past life, wondering how you made it out alive. But make it Sheryl Crow.

Coolest f*ing bitch in town

Contrary to popular belief, this song is not empowering. It’s not about being the coolest f*ing bitch it town. It’s about being a wimpy little baby. A scaredy cat, pathetic teeny tiny idiot baby. I love this song!

Reset button

A song about regrets, about hindsight, about morality. Kind of like if there was a Time Machine, would you go back and kill Hitler or go back and change the dress you wore at prom?

Matchmaker

Every relationship has its problems; here are mine on display for you! Every insecurity I have! Read all about it!

Concrete

A pure, honest love song where you don’t know where one of you ends and the other starts. About being completely selfless and disgusting and happy.

The Cabin

A recollection of childhood and summer and how those seemingly perfect, innocent memories can warp with time. It’s also about wakeboarding.

Baby Teeth

It’s about innocence – my childhood aspirations. How I’ve accomplished things that the younger me would have died to see me do, yet I don’t feel the way I thought I would. Ignorance is bliss, sometimes.

Body

This song is about doing mushrooms, and I always forget that. It’s a love song, but inspired by doing mushrooms and being extremely bored, but feeling okay with the boredom.

Winner

A lullaby between a mother and a daughter, I think. This song kind of stumps me. The meaning changes a lot, but at its heart, it’s a conversation.

Beginner’s guide to birdwatching

This song is based on a voice note (heard later in the song) of me, my brother and sister-in-law, and our friend singing a made-up song to my niece, Alma. It’s the perfect closer to the album. A new family born, hope. I always see both my nieces when I sing this live. It’s for them.

— —

:: stream/purchase Wisecrack here ::
:: connect with Haley Blais here ::

— — — —

Wisecrack - Haley Blais

Connect to Haley Blais on
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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Mackenzie Walker

:: Stream Haley Blais ::



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