NEW ARTIST FINDS: OH WONDER
Get ready, hipsters: we’ve got a good one for you. If you start listening to Oh Wonder right now per our curator Callmearry, you can claim you knew them at the beginning, and there’s a gimmick to boot! Don’t worry, it’s nothing obnoxious. Oh Wonder dub themselves as a “writing team” based in London, and they have embarked on a project on SoundCloud to release one single per month for an entire year. Has it been done before? Probably. Will they achieve their illustrious goal? It appears they’re already a bit off schedule, but we can’t fault them for that. I’m handing in this article mega-late, wasting precious early bragging rights time. Art knows no time, and if they get 12 singles up on SoundCloud within a year at all, I call that a win. They’re also brilliant, so let's get them some t-shirts that say “I Do What I Want” and we’ll leave them alone to create.
It appears as if Oh Wonder started their ill-fated SoundCloud countdown about a month ago, with the release of their first single “Body Gold.” The track for month two was posted three days later, so apparently they were ahead of schedule with that one, so we’ll call that November. Now their profile states that the next track will be posted on 1/11/15 so apparently they’re skipping December, an oversight for which I don’t fault them but I am disappointed. “Body Gold” and the follow-up “Shark” are just too good to wait on for two months. So there that is, they’re either messing with us on this project or just are not familiar with the Julian calendar. Either way their next single, whenever it may show up on SoundCloud, is hotly anticipated for the couple thousand fans in the know.
So what do Oh Wonder sound like, now that I’ve both praised their work and admonished them for their SoundCloud antics? It’s kind of a reverse trip hop, very slow soulful dubsteppy vibe on the beats with kind of a nu-soul melody and vocal thing. Sort of. The female vocals are not autotuned but have a little of that echo effect laced in, and the male vocals just kind of shadow or carry them as part of the backing track. They’re very nu-soul and remind me of Erykah Badu or maybe Duffy if someone gave her a Percoset. Electronic organs bring more soul into the picture, though I don’t think they’re Moog.
Where the newer single, “Shark” is more on the dubstep tip beat-wise, “Body Gold” could be classed even as trap or just straight R&B. The lyrics are sensual enough, to be sure. You could almost imagine Barry White sucking a bunch of helium and then singing through a megaphone to get the sound they’re creating, but it’s sweet and soft with just a touch of funk.
OH WONDER - BODY GOLD
This should be a fun little project to watch, but don’t search the internet too hard for more information. What’s listed above is pretty much it for now, and it doesn’t look like you can buy these singles anywhere. They do have a Facebook and Twitter, @ohwondermusic, so maybe if you follow them you’ll get some news or info there. Hell, I’m not even sure “Shark” and “Body Gold” are the first singles in the series. They could have removed the others as they went. One commenter on the “Body Gold” SoundCloud piece said it best: “who are these people and where do they come from?” I’m sure I do not know, but I’ll still be watching for the next track. If their name is a pun, they’ve definitely got us wondering what the next move will be, and hoping it will be soon.
About Layla Marino
Layla Marino is a music and street art blogger with 17 years in the industry. She focuses exclusively on underground music, art, and culture, and loves working with BitCandy to find and bring new artists to a wider audience.