‘Sonder,’ the latest effort of California based indie-rock band The Wrecks allows them to shed off the DIY feel to their catalogue and are instead establishing themselves as seasoned professionals with the productional values to back it. “I had a lot to say, never came out in the right way,” is a line in the opening verse of The Wrecks’ sophomore album, leading to a collection of songs that are some of their most confessional and evocative ones yet.
But they haven’t completely gone in a different direction. In ‘Where Are You Now,’ there are resemblances to their debut record ‘Infinitely Ordinary,’ with a particular connection to ‘Four.’ In the two years between, however, they have gained more confidence in their own set of skills, which is more than obvious throughout the eleven new releases.
The first single to be put out into the world, ‘Lone Survivor,’ guided in a new era for the band. Still pursuing the rock inclined music they are known to make yet with a more polished finish and a chorus that is bordering the realm of the pop world. The blurred lines within genre often return in ‘Sonder,’ therefore making sure that the songs will get stuck into everyone’s head, and if they become big enough they would even prompt a popular TikTok melody or two. A viral moment could ensue with ‘Unrequited’ as the track is the perfect anthem for the dating app age, “There are 7 billion – I can find someone tonight.” But, more than that it’s the perfect pop-rock song, one that would suit perfectly in Paramore’s repertoire.
Lead singer Nick Anderson outdid himself this time around, often switching between his strong falsetto, innocent tone and the sultry sturdy voice that appeared occasionally throughout the album. Therefore, his stand-alone vocal instrument was as good as ever to capture everyone’s attention, and the occasional harmonies in the background elevated the experience even more.
Some of the album’s most touching moments are found in the beautifully delicate emotions that are felt throughout songs like ‘Dystopia’ and ‘Ugly Side.’ In ‘Normal’ the culmination of desperation, overpowering sadness and anger provide the most open and career-defining track. Although the soft rhythm and subtle instrumentals in ‘Normal’ are rare for The Wrecks, it does sound intrinsically theirs, showing off that they aren’t bound to their up-tempo kickers.
With ‘Sonder,’ The Wrecks are stepping into new territory, nearing an all-time high popularity explosion. While still keeping their ever-fun identity, the group shows off that they aren’t afraid to evolve, making them an indie-pop-rock’s dream.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne