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A Review & Analysis of “Oh Wonder”’s Return to music, “Hallelujah”

“Oh Wonder” is an internationally acclaimed indie duo from London, formed by Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht. Starting as close friends and becoming romatically entwined, “Oh Wonder”’s works tell the couple’s story. Known for ruling the indie scene in the mid 2010’s, they gained more than 2 billion streams and sold millions of records around the world. “Oh Wonder” have take time away from the music world, but are now returning two years later with “Hallelujah.” The song was made completely in the band’s home studio (written, recorded and produced) which only adds to the power of the piece. 

A light strumming of harp dances behind the duo’s light voices. They sing, “I heard it on the radio/On my way back home/That I’m gonna be someone/I guess it was a song they wrote/Saying don’t go slow/’Cause you’re gonna be someone/They were singing hallelujah/Halle-hallelujah I heard it on the radio/On my way back home.” This verse refers to using music as a form of prophecy and faith. The use of the radio is somewhat funny, considering international pop icon Troye Sivan referenced them in his early work a sound of home singing about hearing them on repeat on the radio in his song “Suburbia.”

The song then transitions into heavy violin accompaniment. The violin’s crescendo creates a climbing sound that pairs excellently with the lyrical content of the verse. They sing about trying to make their mom’s proud and fearing failure. As the lyric “’Cause there’s a crown/Covered in glitter and gold I’m gonna wear it, whether you like it or not,” begins as the violins cut out and a pulsing beat replaces them. This beat change makes it sound as though someone has concluded the climbing and is now marching onwards.

When the beat drops the chorus begins, “And I’ll be singing Halle-halle-halle-halle-halle-hallelujah Halle-hallelujah Whether you like it or not Yeah, I’ll be singing Halle-halle-halle-halle-halle-hallelujah (halle) Halle-hallelujah (halle) Whether you like it or not (Whether you like it or not).” The electronic beats cut out and the previous beats repeat with the violins even higher and louder, with the beat even faster.

The constant movement of the one-take video mirrors “Hallelujah’s” flowing sound. This song itself is a reflection of the rapid and seemingly endless journey of the band through the music industry. This is a recollection of all they have done, walked away from and returned to. “Hallelujah” is a flower petal gliding through the spring breeze, into a new day. 

You can stream “Hallelujah” everywhere now.


Featured image is courtesy of Republic Records.

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Helen Ehrlich is a writer who enjoys politics, music, all things literary, activism and charity work. She lives in America where she attends school.

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