Kids today probably don’t remember the excitement aroused in 1992 when The Wedding Present released twelve singles in one year, every one of which made the Top 40. To what extent they were trailblazing pioneers would not become clear until 23 years later, it seems, as the monthly release schedule is very much a thing in the here and now in 2015.
Oh Wonder are one of the artists embarking on such a project. Technicolour Beat is, the month we’re in being March, their third release of the year. If it wasn’t for the fact that its two predecessors were somewhere north of pretty decent, the extreme loveliness of Technicolour Beat might present me with something of a problem.
Allow me to explain: if you’re going to release twelve songs in one year, you probably don’t want to be peaking a quarter of the way through. Ideally you want to work in ebbs and flows, but without creating a peak that is as obvious with foresight as it is in hindsight. Technicolour Beat could be one of several peaks, a series of highs even, with its consummate restraint and constant holding back. Its smallness is remarkable in an age of big synth and showy statement pieces, and while it builds as it goes, it goes about its development quietly. Beautiful… beautiful.
And I feel life for the very first time
Love in my arms and the sun in my eyes
I feel safe in the 5am light
You carry my fears as the heavens set fire