Wildest Fears /// Coral Palms

For many of us, putting on a happy face is our only way to function within society. But, deep down inside, it’s only a facade designed to deter anyone from getting too close to you.  Meanwhile, your warpath thoughts seek and destroy any figments of wellness to be had. London indie pop band Coral Palms’ latest single, “Wildest Fears,” masks a mental health battle underneath a summery, surf rock-ska infused melody. Disguised as a track meant to spur you on to put on your dancing shoes, this song slips down into that whirlpool of self doubt known as the human mind.

On the surface, “Wildest Fears” is harmless and happy go lucky. That would be a correct assumption given the serene soundscape that’s initially laid before you. Then, the boppy horn section hits and you’re awash in more jovial sounds. Given all of these buoyant devices, you would not assume that the lead singer is about to plumb his own emotional depths. The dichotomy of carefree sonics and meticulous thought enable “Wildest Fears” to equally represent both sides of the struggle.

Lead singer Ollie does an exemplary job of delivering on the lost in thought side of this track. As opposed to the sunny side melody, he’s sifting through a mental fog. As he puts it, “I don’t know where my head is. I haven’t known for years.” Whether he’s forcing himself to “fake a smile” or gets lost in his “daydreams” and “wildest fears,” it ties together the duality of keeping up appearances, while running the inside ragged.

“Wildest Fears” is a triumph at being deep in substance while going incognito as another summer pop jam. In doing so, Coral Palms have delivered the rare, thinking person’s indie pop song. 

Written by Travis Boyer

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