Hether Fortune's punk daring has long been in the tension and held release, with lyrics intentionally (and tastefully) choked by post-punk gloom. On Wax Idols' thematically empathetic American Tragic, released in 2015, there was an invitation, still detached in dark synths and cloaked atmospheres. There was an opening to moving past personal ache.
Happy Ending, Wax Idols' fourth album, couldn't be more diametrically titled, though does carry with it a finality. "Scream," the first single premiering here, seems to offer the record's empowered thesis statement on mortality writ in thundering dream-pop.
"Finding inspiration in one of my favorite poems, 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' by Dylan Thomas, I used this song as a vehicle to meditate on the concept of free will and how one could choose to exercise it even at the brink of death," Fortune tells NPR. "The protagonist is someone who is young, madly in love and desperately wants to live — though they know that they will not. They have chosen to use their final seconds, the only breath in their lungs, to scream out the name of the one that they love."
Fortune has written a fight song for love. It is bare and big. Fortune's sky-high histrionics give flight to her own rage against the dying of the light.
Happy Ending comes out May 16 via Etruscan Gold Records.
1. Heaven Knows
2. Too Late
10. Had It Good
11. Missed Call