As the music industry changes, it is interesting to see the creative ways in which artists work to create a following and maintain it. Since Oh Wonder released their first original track in 2014, it was clear that something very special was underfoot. London pop duo, Josephine Van der Gucht and Anthony West chose to release one song per month for a year leading up to the release of their self-titled album.
Oh Wonder have since released a series of beautifully crafted lyrically-driven electronic soundscapes which have been appropriately well-received, and released their album in September of 2015. The duo’s sound is reminiscent of Lorde both lyrically and in the female-driven vocal. Comparisons may also be made to Angus and Julia Stone as they seem to share an emotive authenticity with the Australian brother and sister team.
The decision to release one song at a time, has given each track equal air time, and created a sense of suspense for each new track and the eventual release of the album. Many a song was well received by YouTube channels such as Suicide Sheep as well as being remixed by artists such as Louis the Child and Jerry Folk.
Needless to say, Oh Wonder’s interaction with their listeners is consistently personal. This momentum has not been lost since the release of the album. A recently released music video for the song “Without You” has been integral to holding our interest. Social media is still frequently updated with creative touches such as sharing their Spotify Top 10 and photos of recently signed copies of Oh Wonder on vinyl. Endearing comments such as “so excited to hear our song on TV!” make Oh Wonder both relatable and admirably humble given their recent wave of success. Artsy and everyday photographs of the duo are a common feature on their Facebook page, and listeners have the option to subscribe to their website for updates.
As a whole, the album has a substantial emotional range. Although faithful to their minimalistic, gentle sound, you will find on the album a colourful love song in the form of Body Gold, the apprehensive and hopeful Shark and alternative party anthem, Lose It. The innocence of the vocals and the honest-sounding lyrics creates for a soothingly emotive experience. Although seamless, Oh Wonder’s sound is not overly produced, likening each listen to the experience of a live performance without the background noise.
The combination of thoughtful marketing and musical talent is not easy to find, and it is exciting to see what Oh Wonder’s next offering will be. For now, Oh Wonder’s first wave of beautiful music has earned a solid spot on my playlist.