Sunday 19 May 2024

Introducing Wonder 45

My friend William was raving about a new band called Wonder 45. I checked them out and could see why! Wonder 45 are fresh out the wrapper and perfectly formed. Gorgeous soul, top class musicians and vocals that just grab you. The band started as an instrumental recording project and grew from there.

I asked William if he fancied writing a blog .... and he has. Enjoy!

Introducing - Wonder 45

Guest blog by William Thomas

Sometimes a band comes along which just jumps out from the crowd, demanding to be noticed – it’s a rare but unmistakeable feeling for listeners. The needle hits the groove and the music just… crackles.

It can either be an indefinable quality, or clear as day. Wonder 45 are firmly in the latter category -everything hits right, the band is tight, the melodies effervescent, the production crisp and warm.

This London soul ensemble started out life as producer/writer Holley Gray, guitarist Ross Ewart, drummer Chris Nickolls and keyboard player Steve Pringle.

They’ve since been enhanced by singer/songwriters Jess Greenfield and Gavin Conder and the outfit have since gathered real momentum with their first gig only happening in January this year. You would never know, such is the assured nature of everything they do.

From their studio cuts too, the manifesto is clear. You can hear the authentic, classic influences coming through loud and clear, but there’s a sharp, fresh pop sensibility too. If you were thinking of another band which had immediately turned its retro influences into earworm gold, then Oasis might spring to mind.

It’s an apposite comparison, because songwriter and vocalist Greenfield is also a key member of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, providing affecting backing vocals, keyboards, and percussion both live and in the studio.

Given Noel’s high bar for fellow band members, that’s an endorsement to be proud of, and it has clearly given her a strong platform to spread her wings further with her own musical ambitions.

Greenfield brings that high flying, arena-filling prowess accrued over the last six years to Wonder 45 in spades with standout vocals on the likes of Cry – a gritty, passionate cri de coeur to hold onto love through both bad times and good – the swinging Nothing’s Gonna Change, and Superman which immediately commands attention with its powerful rhythm section and lyric that pays tribute to not settling for a love that’s anything less than heroic.

Conder is no vocal slouch either on Wonderland where the barriers to true love are cast aside with a soaring chorus.

Cry - live studio session

Make It Happen is meanwhile an unapologetic wah-wah guitar-driven note to self, reminiscent of Sly and The Family Stone in their pomp. Carpe diem, grab the opportunity, whatever you want to call it – it’s an inspiring, propulsive crowd-pleaser addressed to anyone resting on their laurels delivered with funk and fun. There is brass in abundance – driving organ, and whip cracking percussion all the way.

Collectively, the singles display a wide, scintillating repertoire of styles, all delivered with complete confidence and melodic panache. Here, you’ll find drama, pathos, lust, longing, and all points in between. Most importantly, each track fizzes with intent, and you wouldn’t be surprised if Wonder 45 very quickly find their career launched into orbit.

The band have undoubtedly released a steady procession of consistently great songs in recent times – all of which have caught the attention of, and made waves with, a long list of prominent radio names, culminating in what is already sure to be an instant classic debut LP Wonderland out on 31 May via Big-AC Records.

Wonderland - live studio session

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