Sunday, October 16, 2022

Oh Wonder Stun with '22 Make'

Oh Wonder are a musical alt-pop duo from London who have multiple studio albums, two of which are the self-titled debut album ‘Oh Wonder’ released in 2015 and ‘Ultralife’ released in 2017.

Their popular songs include ‘All We Do’, ‘Technicolour Beat’ and ‘Without You’. Josephine and Anthony (Oh Wonder) also opened a coffee shop called Nola during lockdown, based in Peckham.

During the pandemic, Oh Wonder were on the verge of breaking up, and they used music to reconnect and communicate their problems. ‘22 Break’ released in 2021 is the result of that and shows life and love aren’t always perfect and happy.

22 Make’ is the other side of this and "is an album full of love and life-affirming songs that reflect on fate, gratitude and being there for someone" via their Instagram. It gives a clearer picture and realistic view to their relationship and shows they are vulnerable and honest in their music. 

Magnificent’ was the first song of the album to be released back in March and they "wrote… ‘Magnificent’ right after [they] got married, after deciding that life without each other wouldn’t be anywhere near as good" via Instagram. The track also references their song ‘Don’t Let The Neighbourhood Hear’ with the line "If I never told you my name, we would be strangers" but this time it’s more of a positive take. 

True Romance’ features poetic lyrics, heavenly layered vocals and head bopping drums. It’s romantic and highlights the special feeling of being in love. "It's just something humans do (I'm in love with you)" suggesting that it’s almost effortless and hard to resist being in love.

‘Can We Always Be Friends’ was the last of the singles of the album to be released and is about staying in another’s life no matter what happens as there’s too much love and feelings involved."During [a] trip [they] asked each other if [they] could always be friends - no matter what" via Instagram

Fuck it I love you’ is about the duo "realising that at the core of [their] relationship was love." (via Twitter) after a tough pandemic year. In the track, there’s some angst in the declaration of love. Throughout the song, there are a few references to driving and the lyrics "The passenger side / We're watching all our history roll by" are an example. This feels loosely linked to their song ‘Drive’ which uses the car as a metaphor for a relationship that’s going round in circles. 

The album cover was designed by Casey Roarty who is a London based graphic designer and has worked with Oh Wonder before for the ‘22 Break’ album cover. Each song has its own illustration which reflects their individual meaning. In the deluxe version ‘22 Make’ and ‘22 Break’ are combined, and each album is on one side. 

22 Make’ is hopelessly romantic and wholesome; it makes the listener smile and brings joy. Each song provides insight into their relationship while being relatable, and the tracks seamlessly blend into the next and feel well-rounded. The album is an ode to Oh Wonder’s old music while still expanding their style. It pairs perfectly with ‘22 Break’ and the album is such a wonder to listen to. 

Emily Bundock


Image: ‘22 Make’ Official Album Cover

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