Label: Universal Music Operations Limited
Release Date: 26th June 2020
"There is a renewed versatility with the range of themes and tones across the album, all whilst the duo recorded and released them from home."
Oh Wonder’s EP ‘Home Tapes’ epitomises the power of music-making during self-isolation: it symbolises an ability to bring people together, providing reassurance in a new, confusing world. In relation to the new EP, Josephine and Anthony stated: “In the absence of certainty, at least we will have music, and we hope that these songs provide some comfort, companionship and relief to those that need it.” The EP starts with the lyric “at this second… / Being a human is pretty much the hardest thing” and this EP is a familiar voice to help us through that process.
Starting with the release of ‘Lonely Star’, the EP collates beautiful tracks that touch on the difficulties of self-isolation, mainly loneliness and a sense of change. The lyrics “I guess I’ll be a somebody that nobody knows” and “I guess I’ll just hope for bad weather” reflect on feeling lost, out of place and a subsequent desire to be invisible while at the same time wanting to connect to others.
‘Keep on Dancing’ explores the experience of birthday’s while self-isolating, following Josephine’s birthday in lockdown. In a similar style to ‘Lose It’, the track is much more lively than some of the slower, inward-looking songs on the EP. ‘Don’t You Worry’ is a really fitting end to the EP with their soft vocals reminding us that everything will be okay.
Although I am a long time fan of Oh Wonder, I felt that their most recent album was sometimes a little repetitive. I am happy to say that this EP has truly revitalised my love for their music and unique sound. There is a renewed versatility with the range of themes and tones across the album, all whilst the duo recorded and released them from home.
As part of the project, they have created music videos that feature video clips of fans and their art to add a personal, collaborative element to the songs. The metaphor of all of the fans, as lonely stars, coming together to bring their collective light in the current darkness is really powerful. ‘Home Tapes’ forges connections across a fanbase when we need it the most.
Words by Elle Woods-Marshall.
2nd July 2020.