Oh Wonder’s new song “Can We Always Be Friends?” is out on Island Records. This comes before the release of the distinctive London band’s upcoming album, “22 Make,” which is scheduled for October 7th. Dark initial singles like “Magnificent,” “Fuck it I Love You,” and “True Romance” served as a teaser for this.
Just hours before Oh Wonder left on her honeymoon, “Can We Always Be Friends?” underwent a hasty revision. They just knew it wasn’t quite right, even though it had begun as a pop banger. They remained up all night rewriting it into the sleazy, after-dinner jazz piece it is now, with vinyl deadlines looming and the very real deadline of a trip to catch. It’s a song that perfectly encapsulates Oh Wonder’s entire “22 Break” project, proving that no matter what happens, the relationship between these two people will never truly cease.
The amazing tale of Oh Wonder’s troubled period is dissected in “22 Make”. Towards the end of 2021, its first part, “22 Break”, debuted without much notice. Here, common themes—loneliness, inadequacy, resentment, and anxieties about the future—were experienced by one couple in real time and amplified by the epidemic.
Few bands are able to create a break-up record that ends with marriage, but Oh Wonder have never been like other bands. After completing “22 Break” and all the introspection it required of them, Josephine and Anthony were married and used this experience to create “22 Make”, a brand-new album that serves as the soundtrack to the light at the end of the tunnel.
“When we nearly broke up during the pandemic, we used music as a way out,” Oh Wonder shared.
“We wrote all our pain, sadness and confusion into a collection of songs that we eventually released as the album, ‘22 Break’. But for us, that was only half of the story. We managed to survive our rocky patch, and emerge stronger than ever and full of love for each other. It only felt right therefore, to write about the other side, where you realize not just that you’re meant for each other, but also that it also takes two people to make a love flourish. We are thrilled to be releasing ‘22 Make’, an album full of love and life-affirming songs that reflect on fate, gratitude and being there for someone.”
“No One Else Can Wear Your Crown”, the band’s critically praised album from 2020, continues a streak of back-to-back top 10 releases. The group has become one of UK pop’s more unexpected breakthroughs on their own terms (2.7 billion streams, 1.7 million adjusted album sales, and vocal fans in the likes of Billie Eilish and Griff). Early in the pandemic, Oh Wonder even started the wildly successful Nola cafe in Peckham and practically built it from the ground up.