A new segment that showcases unheard talents, CelebMix is releasing two articles per week highlighting some of the best musicians on the planet. These artists may be known to some, however, we believe they should be known by all!
If you missed our previous article in the series about French superstar Christine and The Queens, then click here to find out about the artist. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for future articles, as you will soon find yourself a new favorite musician! Now, introducing UK alt-pop duo Oh Wonder.
Oh Wonder, a London-based pop-alternative duo, consists of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West. Their synth-pop and indie tracks have mesmerized fans from across the globe. The duo, whom are new to the music scene, have toured the world after only two years in the industry, but aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
From September 2014 to the same month the following year, Oh Wonder, a relatively unknown group, began releasing one track a month on the official Soundcloud page. The self-released tracks were written and recorded by the duo and caught the attention of users on the site. They applauded the electro-pop and mellow beats, engaging lyrics and soothing vocals from both Gucht and West. The tracks went on to garner over 25 million streams on the website and Spotify over the year, creating a fan-base for the London-duo before they had even revealed their last names. The music caught the attention of Republic Records, the label to which they are now signed. Track ‘Without You’, which achieved over 2 million streams on Soundcloud, was released to YouTube in October 2015 with an official video, gaining over 17 millions views so far.
Due to the success of the singles, in September 2015, Oh Wonder released their self-titled album to the world. The fifteen tracks on the album consisted of all thirteen tracks released via Soundcloud over the past year, along with two additional unknown songs. West and Gucht described the album as nontraditional, noting that the album was never conceived as an entire record but songs that live in their own right. The album achieved moderate success in the charts, reaching No. 16 on the Canada Top Albums Chart, No. 26 in the UK and No. 80 in the U.S. Critics praised the album ‘Oh Wonder’, with Serena Weiss of The Ithacan writing:
“Each successive song reinforces Oh Wonder’s individuality and shows the members are talented when it comes to writing their music. The songs are hauntingly beautiful, and the musical chemistry between the two is undeniable. With clean and downtempo pop ballads, this is an album that is worth a listen.”
Opening track ‘Livewire’ gives listeners a taste of how the voices of Gucht and West fit perfectly together. The uplifting track and the more deep vibe on ‘Technicolour Beat’ portray how the two voices intertwine over layered beats to provide refreshing songs. The more upbeat ‘Lose It’ is a highlight on the album, with the lyrics hitting home on how in such a scary and intimidating world, sometimes we should all just ‘lose it’ and have some fun. Oh Wonder performed this song on their U.S. television debut on ‘Conan’.
As their fan-base began to grow larger, Oh Wonder found themselves touring across the world at an impressive pace. The duo have so far visited the UK, United Sates, Australia, Sweden, France and Germany to name a few, with sold out performances in the Philippines under their belts also. Oh Wonder, who have been compared to the likes of The xx and James Blake, are on their way to global dominance. The group performed in many popular music festivals in 2016, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Firefly, Live Out and WayHome Festival, before embarking on a tour with Halsey.
From the 21st July to the 12th August, Gucht and West opened for the 21-year-old U.S. singer-songwriter on the final installment of her Badlands Tour in America and Canada. The duo opened alongside Halsey on August 13th to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York, which is often the pinnacle moment in many musicians careers.
As West and Gucht head off to produce and write their second studio album, we here at CelebMix will continue to stream their debut on repeat. Guaranteed to pull at your heart strings, lift your mood and comfort you with such heartfelt lyrics and minimal instrumentation all in one, it isn’t a surprise that Oh Wonder are on the verge of becoming global superstars.
Do you listen to any unknown/rising musicians from across the world that deserve more praise for their work? Let us know by tweeting @CelebMix on Twitter and your favorite artists could be featured next!