Album Review: Joanna Adamiak – I Wish It Was True

Joanna Adamiak explores infatuation and fantasy on her gripping and emotional new album I Wish It Was True

Known for her ethereal vocals and signature synth-pop sound, Joanna Adamiak is an artist who’s creativity and daring nature has put her into a lane of her own, as evidenced through the release of her experimental 2017 debut album Who Am I. Seven years later, the artist has released its follow up in the form of I Wish It Was True, an exploration of love and infatuation that takes on a wide range of moods and tones throughout.

The slow-burning ‘Scenario’ gently lulls listeners into the EP with its ambient soundscape and the painstaking nature in which it builds. Thoughtful lyrics surrounding themes like regret and wishing that you could go back in time and change things cement the melancholy nature of the track, making for a subdued and conflicted opening to the album that sets the tone in emotional fashion.

Things take a step into more vibrant and upbeat territory on ‘Pretend’, a track that sees the narrative of the album switch from one of regret to one of the artist looking to conceal how she feels and mask the pain that she is feeling internally. Already a concept and a thematic pattern is forming, with the artist trapped in a sense of infatuation and searching for a requited love.

‘Never Ready For Love’ follows an unfolds like a poignant ballad, with the artist again making a declaration of love to a lush and engrossing synthy backdrop, while still hanging on to that sense of trepidation and fear. These themes also seep into ‘Let Go’, as the artist’s fears of rejection and abandonment form the crux of an intense and atmospheric track that feels heart-wrenching throughout.

These fears tie in really nicely to the album’s title track ‘I Wish It Was True’, a track that sees the artist looking to dive into something new, bruised and anxious from her previous experiences and not sure whether to take the same risks all over again and risk getting hurt. The sombre and powerful tone of the track does a great job of highlighting the gravity of it, and the stripped-back synths and more minimalist feel allow the emotion of the vocals to shine through throughout.

The more experimental and eclectic soundscape of ‘See I’m Near’ is packed full of quirky and forward-thinking charm, providing a playful and fun backdrop to a track that sees the artist ruminating on the situation she has found herself in, and exploring some of the artist’s feelings of otherness and not being like everybody else, making for a multi-faceted and interesting listening experience.

The artist’s more introspective and thoughtful tendencies emerge on ‘Reflection of Myself’, as some of the album’s previous moments of looking inward when analysing her situation come to the fore and create a track that packs a heavy emotional punch amid some soul-searching.

‘Don’t Play Games’ follows, and shifts the focus from Joanna to her love interest, as she tries to delve inside their head instead and work out whether they’re genuinely as unsure and conflicted as they seem or if they are just playing games with her. Again, the atmospheric and creative use of the synths and drums here make for a compelling listening experience that creates a dreamy aesthetic to pair with the narrative. The dreamy tones and atmosphere continue into the aptly titled ‘Dreams’, a track where the artist allows her imagination to wander as she continues to imagine what life would be like if things had panned out differently.

As the album draws to a close, there are some genuine moments of catharsis and closure for the artist. With ‘One Day You Will Find Your Way’ finding the artist looking back over her relationship with the other person and the respective situations that it has left them in, with Joanna offering to be there for the other person and help them out regardless of how things have worked out.

While ‘I Wanted It To Last’ has a sombre tone to it throughout, the artist at least seems to have come to terms with the situation and seems ready to move on and put this chapter of the journey to rest. Joanna’s cathartic lyrics and the way that she explores feelings of loneliness and not feeling like you belong make for some touching moments, but in context of the album, the feeling of the artist being freed from this fantasy feels like a positive thing that can only lead to better things.

All in all, ‘I Wish It Was True’ feels like a journey that the artist had to go on, working through the kind of feelings of love and infatuation that can often make us delusional and helpless, and exorcising these demons in the form of an album to get it out of your system and properly make a clean break. The synthy allure of the soundscape and impassioned lyrics make for some really memorable moments throughout, and do a great job of articulating the artist’s journey in relatable and thoughtful fashion.