SURPRISE ALBUM 22 BREAK OUT OCTOBER 8TH
Oh Wonder has released brand new track “Don’t Let The Neighbourhood Hear” – a further preview of surprise new album “22 Break,” which is set for release on October 8th. The project was launched recently by its powerful title track, and swiftly followed by news of a 52-date world tour for 2022 (an intimate London date at The Albany Theatre this week sold out in seconds and will be streamed globally on October 14th). All this is the unique duo’s first new material since 2020’s “No One Else Can Wear Your Crown,” and back-to-back top 10 albums from the band who have—on their own distinct terms—become one of UK pop’s more unsuspecting success stories (2.7 billion streams, 1.7 million adjusted album sales, and vocal fans in the likes of Billie Eilish, who covered “All We Do” during her Apple documentary).
“Don’t Let The Neighbourhood Hear” is an emotive highlight of 22 Break, a soundtrack to screaming fights (and keeping them from next-door) amidst the pressures of the pandemic. This tumultuous and deeply personal time in their private lives is the subject of Oh Wonder’s fifth studio album, which they shared news of recently in characteristically open style. It’s a brutally honest and powerfully beautiful record, and one that lets listeners into the Oh Wonder fold like never before. As Josephine puts it: “We were just writing songs. We had no idea we were writing a break-up album.”
“22 Break” is a portal into the emotional states surrounding “Don’t Let The Neighbourhood Hear” and the life-changing, universal breakup themes (loneliness, inadequacy, resentment, fears for the future) as experienced in real-time by one couple in their garden shed. In the pandemic’s early phases, Anthony and Josephine worked hard to fill the gap created by the halting effects of lockdown: Anthony even decided to open a coffee shop in Peckham (the gorgeous, meticulously designed Nola), which soon saw round-the-block queues and put many of their touring crew back in work. As they started working on new music, however, all the unspoken tensions between a pair who’d never really known a relationship outside of the band tumbled out. Ultimately, though, the album that almost ended Oh Wonder proved to be the making of them: “22 Break” is a cathartic, quietly hopeful project, the light at the end of the tunnel that was Oh Wonder’s quite particular pandemic.
Not many bands can make a break-up album that culminates in them tying the knot, but then again, Oh Wonder have never been like other bands. Coming out of “22 Break” and all the soul-searching that it forced them to do, Josephine and Anthony finally got married in August this year. Whilst their relationship now has its own space to exist outside of Nola and Oh Wonder, the duo’s crossroads period has accidentally resulted in their most profound work to date.
“It’s awkward, it’s vulnerable, but it also saved us,” adds Josephine. True to their DIY spirit, Oh Wonder has since thrown themselves into a stunning short film that will accompany the full album and is previewed in the visuals unveiled thus far. Oh Wonder also played a very special, one-off show at The Albany Theatre in London yesterday, which sold out in seconds, ahead of a global YouTube stream on October 14th.