As his time in the bands Christmas and Malaikat Dan Singa came to an end, Jake Jones, a self-described forest-dwelling country boy, needed to retreat. After several years involved in heavy music, he sought to reach a point of health and happiness and, in his words, “not be shitty all the time,” and he found a needed release in pop music. Jones turned off his filter and began writing with the intention of seeing even the most ridiculous idea through instead of dismissing it before it could develop, and the songs that revealed themselves showed hints of T. Rex’s glammy swagger, Brian Wilson’s religious awe of the everyday, and the Jesus and Mary Chain’s inversion of Wilson’s melodies. The finished product is a collage of gorgeous, propulsive sun-bleached pop. Every element of Sick Sad World took shape as a response to something, and clichés—water, suns, heartbreak, sidewalk surfing—became a language for sincere ideas.