WISH Debuts with a Free Spirit

From their name to their recordings to the album art of their debut, eponymous album, everything about four-piece outfit WISH was bred from spontaneity. Fronted by 23-year-old Kyle Connolly, the band came together when Connolly pulled together an album’s worth of songs written over a couple of months and rallied some friends to join him. He met drummer Peter Gosling at a party, and the pair are joined by guitarist Josh Korody on guitar and Emily Bitze on bass—both are also in other bands with Connolly.

WISH-1-by Scarlett_Rose-900Photo by Scarlett Rose

“I kind of write all the time so I knew I wanted to start a new band,” Connolly said over the phone, speaking from his house in Toronto. “I’m just constantly writing songs.”

WISH, released in late August via Hand Drawn Dracula, is a 35-minute, fuzz-filled daydream. Opening with the suspenseful “The Days” that breaks with a gentle sigh of strums, the record shuttles you straight into a vortex of gamboling licks and drawled, yearning vocals. “Nothing to Say” is two-parts haze and one-part sunshine that leaves you feeling pleasantly dizzy while “unknowns” breathes easy, taking its time as it leads you into the denouement.

Like the band’s name, which Bitze proposed via text before their first show at NXNE in 2013, the tracks were recorded with an impulsive spirit—the band was in Toronto’s Candle Recording studio for only two days—but they work well. “Frances in Space,” for example, which Connolly describes as “really a big one for the album,” is the first and only take they did.

“I think ‘Slacker’ really captures the feel of the album,” Connolly continued. “It was kind of a last-minute song that I wasn’t really expecting would make the album at all, but it turned out really well, and everything just fell into place. It turned out to be one of my favorite songs on the album, I think.”

Two days to record an album is rapid, but “it wasn’t stressful at all,” Connolly said. “I just remember it being super hot, and we were all in the same room together, just laughing and having fun.” And the proof lies not only in the nine tracks but also on the record’s cover, collaged surreptitiously by Bitze with photos from the band’s youth to show them dressed in wacky costumes.

“We’re like best friends, and it’s always fun, ” Connolly said. “We always have fun, for sure.”


Kyle’s WILD Wish: I just wish I could play music for the rest of my life…quitting my day job is my wish.


text by: Claire Voon

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