Influences: Oh Wonder

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Oh Wonder’s effervescent debut LP caused ripples around the globe.

Starting as almost total unknowns, the project finished with a daring, exuberant, completely sold out show at London’s historic Brixton Academy.

New album ‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’ is largely a reflection of this, the sound of Oh Wonder coming to grips with enormous shifts in their personal circumstances.

Written and self-produced in Oh Wonder’s own home studio, the 10 track journey touches on topics personal while seeking out universal pop pathways.

Set to be accompanied by some intimate UK shows in March, it’s a refreshing, effervescent return. c

Clash caught up with Oh Wonder to discuss a few of the reference points from the studio process…

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James Taylor – ‘You’ve Got A Friend’

We both grew up listening to James Taylor and Carole King in the back of the car on family road trips. It wasn’t until we both started writing songs in our teenage years that we appreciated just how incredible they were as songwriters. Their output was prolific.

We covered ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ for Radio 2 last week, and still can’t believe it was written 50 years ago. It is still so relevant.

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Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’

Lyrically this is just one of the most exquisite songs.

For us both, Joni opened the door to imagery and poetry in songwriting. You feel so much in what she says, even though you don’t always understand the specifics of what she is writing about. She creates such emotion in her music, and her work serves as a reminder that the best songs can be translated perfectly with just a piano/guitar and a voice.

Layers of pop production is a bonus.

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Feist – ‘I Feel It All’

Leslie Feist is undeniably one of the most pure artists of our generation. Her albums have soundtracked so much of our lives, from being teenagers discovering ‘1234’ on the Apple advert, and then devouring the whole album ‘The Reminder’, and every record she has released since.

Her album ‘Metals’ really brought us closer when we first started writing together. It has so much energy in it. Her film ‘Look At What The Light Did Now’ is a beautiful accompaniment and insight into her recording process.

She hired a huge house in France with Chilly Gonzales and recorded so much of it live. It really inspired us to be more raw when we were recording our second album.

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Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Brothers On A Hotel Bed’

We are both HUGE Death Cab fans, and this song is our favourite song ever. When we first met in our early twenties we had a huge listening session in the studio, and couldn’t believe our music tastes were so aligned.

We’ve been to every Death Cab show in London, and continue to be inspired by the lyrical genius of Benjamin Gibbard. He has been a huge influence on our songwriting.

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James Blake – ‘I’ll Come Too’

We are huge James Blake fans, and this was a standout song from his latest record, ‘Assume Form’.

It’s so lush, direct, simple and floats through this lyrical and musical stream of consciousness. It was very influential for us when we started writing our new album ‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’. 

Our album’s opening track ‘Dust’ was almost like our response to ‘I’ll Come Too’, super lush and reflective.

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‘No One Else Can Wear Your Crown’ is out now.

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