We find music in so many ways. Some are handed down to us by our parents, some we find while rummaging through our great aunt’s collection. Some latch on to us via TV ads, some are suggested by friends and then some via YouTube/SoundCloud autoplay!
The “autoplay” feature is a honey-pot for user engagement. While it can backfire completely for being distracting, it has only delighted me. I’ve found great music through “autoplay.” Heart-breaking music. Relaxing music. Upbeat music. Oh Wonder Music!
I thank my lucky stars for the moment I stumbled upon their single, Technicolor Beat and they had me at “woo…wooo…wooo” (You’ll know what I mean if you’ve heard it). The song had me wanting for more and as I kept exploring their work I only grew to love them.
Oh No! They Didn’t!
This London-based duo- Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht – released one single every month straight out of their studio apartment in the city!
Releasing an original song every month? That’s some serious deadline! And then there is the pressure to deliver good music. The two didn’t fail. Their music was refreshing, soothing and had an emotive quality unique to their kind. Their first two singles had about a 100,000 plays on SoundCloud alone but they remained under radar. Even after 13 million plays and about 8 to 10 tracks, the two never had a real gig!
Oh! But the internet works in mysterious ways.
On September 04, 2015, the duo released their self-titled debut album of 15 characteristic tunes. They are now signed with Republic Records and many of their singles feature on TV shows – MTV’s Scream and CW’s Reign. They are currently touring North America!
…And all that because of their immense popularity on the internet and the amazing quality of their music!
Anthony and Josephine’s songs are electronic ballads. The two usually write their music on a laptop and compose the tunes on a piano.
Their genre? Indie pop, synth-pop and electro pop.
Their music is really minimalistic and simple. There is a tremendous harmony in the vocals – Anthony’s bass and Josephine’s melody. It probably has to do with the kind of people they are.
Anthony and Josephine grew up differently but are a mirror reflection of each other. They are pretty much in sync with each other, saying the same things and completing each other’s sentences. Their chemistry comes through in their music.
Oh! they like dogs. Yeah, both of them.
Oh! Tracklist Story!
Body Gold was their first single. It took them a day to compose it and a year to put it out! And once they did start putting music out, there was no stopping.
While their songs might sound similar, each single has a story of its own. Shark is about a dark love story and Drive is about a sad breakup. Landslide is a song the two wrote when Josephine’s brother broke up with his girlfriend and Without You is a “Frank Ocean – inspired” song that elucidates on the unending wait for one’s love to come home. BTW, Josephine’s brother played the sax on this song!
Dazzle is about gambling and how people are in it for the “thrill” and not just the “money” and Lose it is a carefree song that urges you to relax, lay back and just…well…lose it!
White Blood is probably the most memorable song for the duo. It is inspired by a fan who was battling cancer! Steven’s girlfriend, Wendi, wrote to OW saying how huge a fan he was and OW’s music was helping him get through chemo! Steven and Wendi flew from the US to meet OW in London. In fact, OW used a photo of a slice of Steven’s self-discovered and photographed brain tumor for the cover art of this song!
Oh! My Favorite?
If you asked me to pick a favorite, it would be hard. When I am hooked to an OW song, I replay it until I know it like the back of my hand.
Oh Wonder is a true sensation. They have harnessed the power of the internet to bolster their music and their love for it. While Taylor Swift fought for royalty with Spotify, these two released their songs for free because they are huge believers of affordable music!
Here’s what Josephine had to say in an interview with AndPop:
We’ve discovered so many great new artists and bands on Spotify. We use the platform on a personal level. Totally understand how streaming can potentially hurt an artists career and development, but we see it as we released our whole album on Soundcloud which is a free music platform. We didn’t make any money off of it. Nobody else paid for it because we’re massive believers that music should be affordable. Live music should be affordable and people should be able to pay what they can for music. Platforms like Spotify do pay the artists. We need to ensure that happens on a wider level but we’re totally embracing it.
Oh! Why OW???
Oh Wonder’s music makes me happy. Their ability to show sorrow while balancing the melancholy out is impeccable. Even the saddest song has so much hope in it. Plans is the perfect example.
The only downside to their music is it can get slightly repetitive. But what the hell! They are all so catchy! Even if you don’t like a song, the tune will stay somewhere in your head and you will find it playing in there at the oddest of moments. And you will return to listen to it, again.
I have watched Oh Wonder grow. It’s grown with me. I’ve been a fan for almost a year now. It’s immensely thrilling to see them do so well and humbling to have been a part of their journey!
They also have a pretty cool website now and are selling some awesome merch! Do buy their stuff and support Oh Wonder.
They will love you back! At least in the form of music!