Florida-based singer/songwriter Cloe Wilder has shared a new single with the release of “House By The Water,” a folk-flecked swooner gushing with bittersweet nostalgia. It follows the release of her debut EP Teenage Lullabies last year, as well as the singles “One Step Closer” and “We’re Not Special.” But unlike those releases Wilder’s latest veers away from those pop-centric ballads to carve out an intimate niche amongst acoustic strums and dreamy wilderness.
At its core “House By The Water” is about a memory — one divined from Wilder’s own upbringing. Over delicate strums and the soaring whisps of her soul-caressing vocals, the song conjures up the kind of various hopes and fears that come with growing up. “Maybe one day we could live / In a house up by the water,” she coos. “Where you dreamed of as a kid / You’ll be nothing like your father.” Earnestly, Wilder tries to visualize the scene (“Oh can’t you see it?”) and imagines this almost mythical location where she could retreat to.
“I’m in this constant struggle between being really serious about everything, and missing home and friends a little bit, and this song is definitely a representation of that. I grew up in a house by the water, and this song is me trying to get back to that place, and get back to that state of mind and peace and happiness. It’s one of the saddest songs for me.”
The music video for “House By The Water,” directed by Jesse DeFlorio up in some California mountains, captures the melancholic pull that ebbs and flows within the song. Sitting atop a junkyard car sunk into a large pool of water, the film follows Wilder as she croons under the shadows of trees and is illuminated by golden light. Shot like a decades-old home video the music video offers up a lush imagining of the kind of place Wilder pines for. A verdant and quiet expanse for her to roam free in and to fill with new memories, unburdened by everything that tries to suck the life from the 16-year-old’s ardent passions.
Wilder has been creating music since she was 14 but taking piano lessons since she was four. As such, her music often underscores just how a longing and emotional depth seemingly beyond her years. Since the release of her first single back in 2019, she’s been steadily honing her sound. Her debut EP Teenage Lullabies was a cinematic and cathartic confessional, one that emphatically proved that Wilder could wield bombastic pop without sacrificing her own voice.
Cloe Wilder tour
Words by Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “House By The Water” the new single from Cloe Wilder below!