My Thoughts on No One Else Can Wear Your Crown

Hello everybody! So, if you’ve been around for a while, you may know that one of my favourite bands is Oh Wonder, a London-based indie pop duo. Last year they released their 3rd album shortly before lockdown began and I’ve been meaning to review it pretty much ever since, and since it officially turned a year old two weeks ago, I thought I’d better get to it now. Onto the post!

Dust– this is where the album title derives from, as “no one else can wear your Crown, it’s yours, just yours” is one of the first lines in this song. It’s a great way to start the album, and I really enjoy it lyrically, although there are parts of the music and melody I’m not so keen on (I just CANNOT take to the chorus, somehow).

Happy– this is such a good song! It’s about being happy to see your ex happy with someone else, and how surprising that feeling is but also nice. It’s a pretty unique and interesting concept for a song, and I love that Oh Wonder write about things that I don’t see other artists covering very often. I also love how upbeat it is sonically, and the vocals are so great. And there’s an Anthony solo!! They don’t happen often, but I’m obsessed with them when we do get them.

Better Now- after the lovely chirpiness of Happy, this gets you RIGHT in the feels. It’s about having a loved one in hospital and how worrying that is, and although the lyrics are simple, I think they convey that feeling so perfectly, and the repetition within the verses is so clever because life in hospital is so repetitive and mundane, a lot of the time (at least in my experience with my surgeries/times when I’ve had family members who’ve been in his for some reason)

Hallelujah– this was the lead single from this album, and I have to admit I really wasn’t too keen on it when it first came out, but it’s really grown on me in the year and a half since it did. It’s very uplifting and fun, exactly the sort of thing that deserves to be played often on the radio because it just makes you smile and gives you a boost for your day (and I love the little shoutout to radio in it, it’s so clever and fun in the context of the song!)

In and Out of Love– this is such a hauntingly beautiful song, with a little bit of a complicated meaning, but it pretty much boils down to the feeling of finding your soulmate and knowing that if you hadn’t, you could never have found anyone else like them that you could love forever. Every single lyric is just stunning and poignant and meaningful, and I think it makes it even more special knowing that Anthony and Josie are singing about each other. This is one of my favourite love songs I’ve ever heard.

How it Goes– this is one of those songs that’s so relatable sometimes it’s actually painful. It’s about life feeling kind of pointless sometimes, or at least that’s my interpretation, and Josie’s voice sounds so beautiful and delicate in it, and it just breaks my heart to be honest.

Drunk on You– I love this song so much. It’s about meeting someone, and still being a little bit giddy the morning after because you know you’ve stumbled upon something special. It’s one of the most upbeat, lovely songs on this album, and I think it’s great fun. The melody is so pretty and Josie’s voice combined with it in the bridge is a real highlight of the album.

Nothing But You– I have to admit this isn’t a fave for me because the verses are a bit bland and forgettable, even though they’re pleasant enough to listen. But I’m pretty obsessed with the bridge because I love Josie’s voice in it so, so much, and the lyrics in the refrain are so pretty.

I Wish I Never Met You– this is hands down my favourite on this album, mostly because I think it’s very reminiscent of the sound of their debut album, whilst still being totally sonically cohesive with this one. It’s insanely catchy, and is pretty positive given that it’s about having never been lucky in love and wishing you’d never met all these people who’ve broken your heart, but also rising above it. I think it can also apply to other situations and people you wish you’d never come across too, though, and it’s a really empowering song. The bridge/middle eight in particular is a masterpiece.

Nebraska– this is kind of similar to In and Out of Love in meaning, but the analogy it uses for finding your soulmate is that they’ve travelled the world and never found anything else that feels like home, other than this person. The vocals are stunning, and I think it’s the perfect ending to an album, that is at its core, about love in many different forms, whether that’s for yourself, or a past or present or future romantic partner, or a family member.

Are you an Oh Wonder fan? If not, are you planning to listen to this album? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x


My Thoughts on Ultralife

Hello everybody! As you might know if you’ve read this post, I recently liked Oh Wonder’s debut album an awful lot. Thus, I’ve been listening to their sophomore quite a bit, and today I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on it. Onto the post!

Solo- this is a pretty strong opener to the album, it’s about a house party and feeling like you need to get away from people, which is pretty relatable. I really like the melody and rythym too, and I think the writing is super clever in the way it puts things. I LOVE the refrain. This doesn’t quite take Alessia Cara’s Here’s place as my anti-social anthem, but it is a great song about wanting to get away from people too.

Ultralife– this 100% deserves to be the title track, because it’s got such an upbeat vibe to it that it’s perfect for radio (even though I’ve never heard it on a single station in almost 2 years… honestly what is radio’s issue with indie pop?). It’s about finding someone or something that gives you a new perspective on life and it’s so gorgeously written and sung, and the melody is amazing. Josephine particularky shines on this track for me, especially on the chorus (which may be one of my fave choruses ever- I tend to prefer the pre-chorus but this is an excellent example of how to do a chorus!)

Lifetimes– this isn’t one of my absolute favourites of the album, but I do still really like it. It’s about climate change, which isn’t especially commonplace as a topic in pop music and I love that Oh Wonder are so original. I love how much this song does and how patchwork it feels (I’m totally stealing this description from Josephine, but it fits so ho hey), and the fact that Anthony gets some longer solos brings me much, much joy. I obviously love both members an awful lot and I think their voices sound gorgeous together, but I think Anthony’s is REALLY underappreciated by a lot of people.

High on Humans– it really makes me laugh that this is my fave on the album because I don’t think I could relate to it any less (it’s about getting a buzz from interacting with strangers) but it definitely is. Obviously Josephine and Anthony sound excellent on it, because they sound epic all the time, but I’m more obsessed with different aspects of music and the production here. The production is so strange but I LOVE IT, the melody is so fast but it always makes me want to sing along even though it’s impossible and those intermittent guitar riffs are just… I have no words. I could listen to it all day and never get sick of it

All About You- This song is about someone self-absorbed and selfish, and Anthony and Josephine have implied heavily it’s about politicians (they claim it’s not solely about a certain orange one, but it sounds an awful lot like it is in the lyrics…). I love how quietly scathing it is, and how cheerful it sounds doing it. The bridge is something special as well; I’m obsessed with the way it sounds!

Heavy- I do not usually enjoy disco music in the slightest, but Oh Wonder do it so well I’ll make an exception. This is really fun and upbeat, and especially enjoy the repetition sections and the refrain. Very different to my usual taste, but I’m a big fan overall. Also, it inspired Ultralife which makes me like it even more!

Bigger Than Us- this song is really beautiful, and it’s about a couple breaking up, but more because they’ve just grown apart; it’s very different to most break up songs so it’s really interesting for that reason, even though it doesn’t do anything revolutionary in terms of how it sounds (it sounds great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just quite simple compared to some of the others on here or even the last album), I just love the writing of it too.

Heart Strings– this has such a great synth line, and I love it for that alone. I also love it for its catchiness, and cleverness in using an upbeat melody to disguise the fact it’s actually a pretty sad song about feeling lonely and unloved in a relationship. It’s lots of fun to sing along to as well, and I just enjoy it a lot.

Slip Away- this is essentially Heart Strings but with a sadder sound to it and a bit more emphasis on how they’ve tried to make things work bit can’t. When I say “sadder”, think “I’ve just listened to it and tears are streaming down my face”. The pianos and soft vocals make this so soothing to listen to, and it’s simplicity makes it all the more stunning. Also, I keep saying this but Oh Wonder’s lyrical writing is just beautiful and I love the way they phrase such simple things in a way that makes them sound extraordinary.

Overgrown– don’t let the upbeat synths that kick this off fool you, it’s another tearjerker. It’s about wanting to go to any lengths to make someone feel less alone and it’s stunning. The imagery and description in this is just gorgeous, and that soaring chorus is absolute perfection. Also, the bridge is brilliant, and if you’ve ever read one of these music posts before you’ll know I love a good bridge. It makes me cry every time, and I love it utterly.

My Friends- this is apparently one of the most personal songs from Oh Wonder, because it’s about them feeling like they’ve abandoned their friends and that they’ll forget them because they’re always on tour. It is, as such, really sad and it definitely conveys the emotions they feel about the situation. I love the strings, the bridge and the chorus especially. However, I do think that the intro is a bit long for what it is, and I wasn’t sure if I’d like the song based on the first verse. Give it a chance if you think the same though, because it gets much better later on.

Waste- I’m going to be honest in that this is my least fave of the album, and I really wish it wasn’t because I’d love to have went out on a better note. I know it’s about being alone, but I can’t work out how specifically and I don’t really get it as a song. I also don’t really love the unusual structure because I don’t see why it *is* structured like that. Anthony and Josephine sound great, but overall I just don’t like this no matter how much I tried to convince myself I did.

Basically, this is brilliant (despite my finding the final track disappointing!) and I want Oh Wonder 3 to be released immediately. They are ridiculously underrated and if you’ve not heard their stuff before you need to give them a listen!

Have you heard of Oh Wonder/are you a fan? What’s your favourite song from Ultralife? If you’ve not heard of them before, do you plan to give them a try? I’d really love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

My Thoughts on Oh Wonder

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be talking about all my thoughts on Oh Wonder, the debut album by the band of the same name from a few years ago. A tweet from Ross reminded me that I’ve been meaning to listen to them for a while, and this has since become one of my most played albums of 2019 so far. Onto the post!

Livewire– I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like this much. It’s just so bland and forgettable that I’d struggle to quote you a couple of lines, and I’m the sort of person who picks up song lyrics annoyingly quickly if I listen to it more than once. I don’t find the instrumentals particularly interesting either. Definitely not a strong opener, which is a shame.

Body Gold– after the damp squib that is Livewire, Body Gold is a delight. It does exactly what Oh Wonder do best- it’s somehow both chill and intense, and it sounds SO great in the most subtle way. The verses set a great vibe of this love song about someone improving your life, the vocals in the chorus bring light to my life, the bridge is amazing and I think the instrumentals (which I’m pretty sure are synths, but not 100%) sound SO good in the bit of this where they’re super dramatic in sound. Also, shout out to Anthony’s backing vocals!

Technicolour Beat– Josephine’s voice sounds SO beautiful in this from the first line, and I’m a big fan of the harmonies come the chorus. It’s another love song, and I don’t adore it quite as much Body Gold, but the finger snaps and beautiful vocals/lyrics make it a super solid, enjoyable addition to the album.

Drive– this was one of the only songs I actually knew already before I listened to the album fully, and I obviously liked it enough to want to listen to an album from the artist, which tells you a fair bit straight off the bat! It’s the first break up type song we hear on this album, and it’s SO brilliant. The verses are a little slow, but I still love them (the pop culture references are especially fun) and the lyrics are really great (with the exception of one in the bridge that makes me cringe every time- “I remember all the times you made me covered in crazy”). The breathy chorus vocals would make me forgive this song any sin though, so it’s still an absolute fave regardless.

Lose It– so, this is my absolute fave of the album and I am going to try very hard not to be rambly about it. It’s about two people dancing together, and that sounds a bit odd I’ll give you, but give it a listen and I bet you’ll fall for it just as much as me. First up, the lyrics are beautiful and perfectly sung- the imagery is SO gorgeous. Obsessed. Secondly, can we talk about the instrumentals here? Pianos and horns in one song should not work, but it seriously does here. AND there are more finger snaps (I’m so easy to please, give me finger snaps and I will like your song more immediately. I think this obsession stems from the fact I am atrocious at snapping my fingers…). Finally, it gets extra points for the sultry vibe this has; it suits it so well.

Landslide– this is another favourite for me, and it makes me cry a lot. It’s someone telling someone else they’ll always be there for them, and I first heard it on a day where I really needed someone singing that to me- it was very soothing then and I think it’ll be a constant go to song for me on those sorts of days from here on in.

White Blood– this one is about someone feeling abandoned after someone told them they’d always be there for them (edit: since writing this I’ve discoveredit’s not a metaphor and is actually about a medical issue, which makes it even more impactful) and while I didn’t like it when I first listened, it’s really grown on me since. It’s so simple and beautiful and sad, and I like it a LOT now.

Without You– first up, the piano melody at the beginning is life, I love it and it’s so great. Also, I have a real soft spot for songs that try and trick you as to their meaning by doing the opposite sonically, and this is a spectacular example of that. White Blood very much sounds like a break up song, but this one is also about feeling lonely without someone and until you properly think about the lyrics you wouldn’t know because it sounds so cheerful. Big fan of this!

The Rain– this is quite similar in topic to White Blood and Without You, but it feels super forgettable for me. Like with Livewire, I just forget it exists. There’s nothing overtly bad about it, but nothing overtly good either.

Dazzle– LOVE this one. It’s a LOT of fun, and I just enjoy listening to it. A more specific reason for this is that it’s great to hear Anthony a little bit more prominently throughout it, and also it has both an excellent pre-chorus and bridge, which I am an absolute sucker for in a song.

All We Do– this is the other song I knew before I properly listened to the album, and I’ve always loved it since I first heard it on the opening theme to Unforgotten. It’s a song about feeling hopeless and like you can’t accomplish anything, and it is perfect and beautiful and achingly sad. Simple in terms of lyrics and structure, given how much repetition there is, but undeniably effective and hard-hitting in message. It’s absolutely stunning.

Midnight Moon- I adore this song. It’s so catchy and fun, with a great pace throughout, an amazing pre-chorus and a chorus that properly backs it up (I have no idea if this makes any sense outwith my brain, but sometimes I find choruses a let down after a great pre-chorus). I don’t like the instrumental section though, and I could take or leave the bridge tbh.

Shark- this song is about someone basically asking someone if they’re in the relationship quite as much as they are, which is not what I’d expected from a song with this title, but I’m a BIG fan. It’s another super catchy one, and the vocals are just so great. I love the drums too, and pairing them with piano works weirdly well. Oh Wonder seem to have a real knack for making stuff that shouldn’t work make sound spectacular.

Heart Hope- I can’t quite work out what this song is, but I think it’s about looking for a bit of hope in an ever changing world, and it’s really delicate and lovely. I feel quite similarly about this as I do Technicolour Beat; it’s objectively a good song and I like it, but it’s not a standout of the album.

Plans- this is a stellar closer. It has really cool instrumentals (feat finger snaps, no less!) And the melody is one of my favourites of the album. It’s about trying to get back yo someone and it’s such a lovely, slightly unusual take on a love song. Josephine’s voice is just exceptional on it as well. I mean, it always is, but especially so. And the harmonies in the chorus are major heart eyes.

Are you a fan of this album/Oh Wonder? What’s your favourite song from them? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

%d bloggers like this: