Artist Spotlight by: Kaitlin Smith
It’s no wonder that Oh Wonder has been able to gain more than 4,000 Soundcloud followers in just over 2 months when they are turning out tracks as tasty as the three they have released so far. Formerly known as Wonder Wonder, this anonymous duo based in the UK produces sound comparable to a hybrid of The XX and Rhye. Oh Wonder’s music has tranquilizing male-female vocals, not to mention songs that captivate listeners by starting slow then building into refrains with rhythms and lyrical repetition that compel your body to move to the music.
On September 1st of this year, Oh Wonder entered the Soundcloud-sphere with an air of mystery, promising to release one track per month for the next year. In an interview with Pigeons and Planes, Oh Wonder explains that their decision to remain anonymous came from a desire to avoid assumptions and expectations directed toward them: “…we want to focus on the art, not the artist.” This distinction does not seem to be holding them back. If anything, it only increases the curiosity of listeners who don’t know what direction Oh Wonder will turn to next.
Their very first track, “Body Gold,” is a soothing, sensual, sensational love song. “Body Gold” is simplistic in production, but contains harmonies and powerful metaphors that make every listen an emotional experience. This track is an uplifting anthem that paints lovers as heroes, and makes me picture smiles on the faces of the vocalists as they sing.
Oh Wonder’s second track, “Shark,” which currently has the most likes on their Soundcloud at 6K, contains the same soft, binary vocal style as in “Body Gold,” but is set apart by catchy riffs in the refrain and a more somber tone. “Shark” introduces the theme of uncertainty in love, and the feeling the duo uses when they sing allows the listener to truly feel the words, “Are you gonna be my love?”
“Dazzle,” their most recent song released on November 1st, brings a more upbeat, synthetic sound. It incorporates the same lovely voices and hypnotically recurring lyrics as the other two: “Dazzle me, dazzle me, dazzle me with gold…All that money, that money, that money.” However, it is set apart by a choppier rhythm and additions like bells and sirens that decorate the song. “Dazzle” conveys the message that chasing after money will only bring sadness and wasted time, another new subject that further demonstrates Oh Wonder’s thematic versatility.
So far, Oh Wonder’s music demonstrates a consistent ability to induce eargasms. However, with only three tracks released and a currently underwhelming presence on social media sites, their full potential is yet to be seen. The duo is writing and recording this album as they go, so even they are uncertain what the exact nature of the final product will be (Confusion, 2014). With a rapidly growing fan-base and continued recognition from blogs and other music producers, it will be interesting to see where Oh Wonder is once their unconventional 13-track album is finally completed in September 2015.