Where oh where has the year gone? It what seems like the blink of an eye, 12 months have passed and the once mysterious Oh Wonder have become one of the most talked about, blogged about and exciting bands around. 12 months, 13 tracks and (tomorrow) one album, their rise has been remarkable and with sold out shows in the weeks to come it should continue. They’ve already recorded a live session for Radio1 and no doubt there is much more to come.
So what of the last of their monthly releases, “Heart Hope”? It is, as you would expect, delightful, emotive and enchanting. While the vocals, melody and well, everything, is as wonderful as you would expect, while it can just wash over you like a pleasant warm summer rain, there is (as ever) a subtle, probing undercurrent.
There is a threat of hurt embedded deep within the opening piano, something more than heartbreak in the vocals. It’s an ache of the soul, a wistful, forlorn despair or wish for something else, a simpler time maybe. It’s the silent torment of watching a child’s letter to Father Christmas go unread on the mantel, the threat of a Christmas wish going ungranted, there’s an ache for hope to find its way through the crust of hurt.
Thankfully Oh Wonder have granted many a wish over the last 12 months with their music and, with two songs (“Without You” and “Plans”) yet to be unveiled (and you thought you had heard them all!) on the album, there will be more wishes granted, we’re sure.