The third album from Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West dropped last Friday, February 7, much to the excitement of adoring fans who have followed the couple ever since their debuts in 2014 which saw them release one self-produced single a month for a year. Since then, Oh Wonder have released two other albums, No One Else Can Wear Your Crown being the third, toured the world, and nurtured their music in an adorable home in London, the garden of which is home to their own studio and an adopted dog.
The album is what was to be expected from the power couple – well produced pop, with all of the duo’s indie, electronic, and synth influences omnipresent, as in earlier releases. As the saying goes, ‘why fix something that isn’t broke?’ And the pair have indeed stuck to what has garnered them support with previous albums. Why not? It works. It is impressive and pleasing. The album is characteristic of who we know Oh Wonder to be.
Empowering and uplifting, emotional and bold. This empowering positivity is perhaps most prominent in Hallelujah, the anthemic, first song released from the album, inspiring listeners to chase their dreams. The duo’s talent for writing and production is here showcased in the song’s rollercoaster of hushed instrumentation and gentle vocals to grander, orchestral choruses.
A string of fellow musicians also appear on the album credits, such as Sasha Sloane who co-wrote Happy, which is about being happy for an ex once they find a new partner, and that happiness being the moment of realising that you have finally moved on.
Vander Gucht and West’s love affair is also documented throughout, on tracks such as Nebraska and In and Out of Love. Speaking of In and Out of Love, the duo said: “This was our love song to each other, if that isn’t too cringe (!) “. Whilst slightly cringe, it is adorable, and just about stays on the side of not being overly sickly, and remains relatable despite being intensely personal to the writers. The intense relationship shared by the couple peaks in Nebraska, the album’s closing track, of which they said: “Seven years of being a couple in a band is a pretty crazy concept for a relationship. It’s rare that we spend more than a few hours apart from each other, and that intensity was something we unknowingly challenged when we wrote this song.” Ironically, the pair admitted they had never been to Nebraska – but why let technicalities stand in the way of such a magical song.
With excellent production and wondrous lyricism and musicality, the album is definitely one to listen to.