by Alyse Brown
Outdoor concerts are all the rage in the summer, and I recently decided to hop on this bandwagon to attend one myself. This specific concert featured the group Oh Wonder, a British duo with artists Josephine Gucht and Anthony West. Before they reached international fame together, both performers were trying to make it on their own. Josephine went by the name LAYLA and Anthony was a part of several different bands. After meeting each other, they bonded over their similar music styles and things took off from there.
The singer-songwriters’ music has been referred to as having an alt-pop feel. Their songs mix a variety of genres within this pop classification ranging from indie to electronic. Perhaps it is best to discuss their music by individual albums. They currently have two albums out, and while they have similar vibes, there are distinct differences. The first album, Oh Wonder, can be considered as somber, chill music. In contrast, their second album, Ultralife, contains a feel good atmosphere that would best be heard while getting ready in the morning. No matter which way you view their albums, one thing is true: they deeply care about their music and every lyric and note is a personal statement. Their songs are about the overarching theme of the human experience making them both relatable and at times extremely powerful.
As I was arriving to Central Park, I was prepared to go through a wide range of emotions. The concert boasted a variety of people, both fans and non-fans, since this was a free concert. Many concert goers had simply happened upon it as they were strolling through Central Park and decided to stay. Regardless of how they arrived, everyone was excited to join in the experience. Then, the stage began to light up and the duo came on. The crowd immediately began cheering and there was a rush of exhilaration. The group began playing and the stage blinked with a collage of colors. Everyone started dancing and their faces lit up with smiles. They had a pretty plain set up with just a light up OW sign and a back screen that displayed different colors throughout the night. While I wished there would have been a little more in their stage design, I felt that it was an accurate reflection of their music. After all, Oh Wonder’s main focus is the raw lyrics and sound.
There is something about a concert that brings people together, even complete strangers, and this concert definitely accomplished that. The group ended with their most popular song “Drive” and even those who had never heard of Oh Wonder before seemed at least somewhat familiar with this song. By the end of the night, the duo did what they had come to do. They shared their small part of the human experience with everyone there and allowed an escape from the stress of everyday life for just a little while. The vibe of the crowd was content and relaxed, and as I left I heard several people comment on the amazing energy of the group. It was the perfect summer concert for a night outside in New York City.
If you haven’t heard of Oh Wonder until just now, check out their song “Technicolour Beat.” I hope you like their music as much as I did and get to share in a small part of their experience.
Are you an Oh Wonder fan? What’s your favorite song? Sound off in the comments!