Oh Wonder recently made a magnificent and much welcome return with their brand new single ‘Hallelujah’. They celebrated the release with a launch party at Colours Hoxton – a surprise show that sold out in under 10 seconds, with over 4000 people signing up to come. Today they release a joyous live video, shot in one take, of the band performing the track unplugged with a host of musicians and a choir.
Oh Wonder are one of the UK’s best-kept secrets. What started with the relatively modest ambition of uploading a track a month for a year on Soundcloud quickly transformed the lives of Josephine and Anthony. Five years, 2 billion streams and more than a million record sales globally down the line – as well as a top 10 album back home, and sold-out shows including Brixton Academy and 300,000 global headline tickets – have led to where Oh Wonder find themselves in 2019: a truly modern-day success story, and one which, like the best of things, appears to have largely been a happy accident. The same, too, could be said of the friendship between Josephine and Anthony, whose magnetic intimacy on and off-stage has evolved (as many fans speculated) into a romantic relationship, with all the highs and lows that come from living, working and doing just about everything else with your partner.
If there has always been more to Oh Wonder than met the eye, ‘Hallelujah’ heralds a newfound clarity in the band. Building from hushed harmonies and beautiful orchestration into breakneck electronics and dizzying pop, it’s easily the most urgent, infectious and anthemic moment of Oh Wonder’s career to date. And as much as ‘Hallelujah’ pushes the sound of the band forward, for Josephine and Anthony (who still write, record and produce all their music themselves in their home studio) it also represents that confidence – to open up, and to go back to your roots – which have been paramount to their approach on album 3…
‘Hallelujah’ is a song of defiance that we wrote for anyone that has ever been told they can’t do something. As music-making teenagers, we were both discouraged by naysayers who declared that we would never be successful, that we weren’t good enough, and that we could never be superstars, so we should just give up. When we met each other, we bonded over our shared experiences of setbacks and near-misses, and set ourselves the highly unrealistic goal of releasing music and touring the world. After two albums and a world tour of 43 countries, we have only recently had a chance to process the last 5 years. ‘Hallelujah’ is a reminder to ourselves, as much as anyone else, to not care what people think of you, to work hard, be yourself and try your best. It’s our personal anthem of self-acceptance that we hope will encourage others to “wear their crowns”, no matter what anyone else says.”
Watch Oh Wonder perform an unplugged version of ‘Hallelujah’ live – BELOW: