Landslide by Oh Wonder

I am absolutely in love with almost every song on this album, but “Landslide” was my instant favorite. I immediately sat down at the piano and figured out how to play it, because something inside me just needed to sing this song right then and there.Track: Landslide
Album: Oh Wonder
Artist: Oh Wonder
Genre: alternative, electronic, indie
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Overall:
9/10
Sounds Like: Lorde, Years & Years
Interesting Fact: Beginning in September 2014, Anthony and Josephine set out to write, record, and release one song a month for a year. All of the songs were released together as a self-titled debut album on September 4, 2015.
Best thing About this Track: The melody. All of it. Also the lyrics. All of them. Also, Josephine does this tiny vocal growl at the end that is everything to me.
One thing I wish was different: I could handle some slightly more exaggerated dynamics going into the chorus.
Website: Oh Wonder

Okay, it was SO hard deciding which song from “Oh Wonder” to blog about, because that album is seriously killer! I am absolutely in love with almost every song, but I finally landed on “Landslide” because it was my instant favorite when I first heard the entire album. I immediately sat down at the piano and figured out how to play it, because something inside me just needed to sing this song right then and there. If you like this track though, you really have to check out the rest of the album. I’m a hardcore fan. What are Oh Wonder fans called? Wonderers? I wonder. . . off track, sorry.

So, the song starts with a wobbly synth playing a really interesting line before an electric piano joins in playing straight chords behind it. Also present are some minimalistic percussives in the form of a slight kick and some sick snaps (hand claps?). The synth uses two chords (the fifth and the root) with a walking melody line, which might sound wholly uninteresting in itself. The fun part is that the melody doesn’t start on the leading tone and then walk up to resolve itself; it starts on the resolution and then takes a whole step up to an unresolved and introspective lead. Also adding to the interest of the piece, the electric piano hits the second and fourth chords on a slight pickup to give the track a little more soul with a swinging rhythmic feel.

From the verse to the chorus, we add instrumentation with some more drums and synthesizers, but interestingly enough, the chord progression remains remarkably similar with only one small change. While the verse ended with a resolution from the fourth to the root, the chorus ends by taking the root up to the fourth. After the chorus, we get another little melodic gem. It’s a different synthesizer, but it’s similar enough that you know that it is harkening back to the original melody (which continues playing underneath it).

The theme of the scale-inspired melodies is kept intact with some fun interval interplay in between. Starting at the sixth, we hit that tone followed by its fifth one octave lower. That leads us to the fifth of the key which we will also follow up with its fifth lowered an octave. Skipping a step, we head straight into three, two, one. Repeating the whole line once more, we begin the same way until we hit the third and jump straight back to the root for a fun resolution.

I have now finished talking about the music and did not give a shoutout to the horns, so what the heck am I even doing? Shame on me.

Cool thing that I must always give props for: the first and the second verses maintain not only rhythmic structure, but they actually rhyme with one another. You might initially look at it and think that there could be lazy writing going on because there are lines repeated, but you would be wrong. This is fantastic writing and everything feels so spot on and purposeful. They did not run out of ideas, they’ve expressed themselves perfectly with each repetition being an addition to the song.

The whole theme of the song seems to be about rebuilding, which brings even greater strength and meaning to the musical patterns we’ve already discussed about building melodies note by note on the scale.

This song is so great, because it takes a phrase that is generally flung about so callously “you’ll get over it” and uses it as such a sincere support and sense of comfort. It’s not a reprimand or an undercut, but a statement of faith in the person who is suffering. A statement of hope that you can restart. It is never too late. If you feel like you are so beyond hope that your life is ruined, you can build yourself a new life. Whatever you want it to be. When you are swept away and in the midst of the all the chaos and hopelessness that the forces of nature can throw at you, I will be there for you. When you are too tired to rebuild, when all you want to do is rage against the forces of the universe (“you threw stones at the starlight”), I won’t leave you alone. I will understand if you feel helpless and alone, but I will be with you whether you see me or not. I will believe in you whether you believe me or not.

Just like that, “I know you’ll get over it” goes from condescendingly patronizing to the greatest testament of trust and hope in that person. More importantly, the narrator is not going to leave that person alone in the meantime. “I’ll be there for you, you know.”

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Lyrics:
I know it hurts sometimes but you’ll get over it
You’ll find another life to live
I know you’ll get over it
I know you’re sad and tired, you’ve got nothing left to give
But you’ll find another life to live
I know you’ll get over it

So when you’re caught in a landslide
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And in the rain give you sunshine
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And every time that you’re lonely
And every time that you’re feeling low you should know
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know

I know your hope is heavy but you’ll get over it
You’ll find another life to live
I know you’ll get over it
And I know you feel like everything is fallen to the wind
But don’t you let the thunder in
Cause I know you’ll get over it

So when you’re caught in a landslide
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And in the rain give you sunshine
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And every time that you’re lonely
And every time that you’re feeling low you should know
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know

You fell down by the wayside
Love-locked in an overflow
And you threw stones at the starlight
As I stood on the sideline telling you
That I get that you’re lonely and I see that you’re feeling low
But I’ll hide in your heartbeat
I’ll be there for you you know

So when you’re caught in a landslide
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And in the rain give you sunshine
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
And every time that you’re lonely
And every time that you’re feeling low you should know
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know

I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know, oh
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know

And every time that you’re lonely
And every time that you’re feeling low you should know
I’ll be there for you, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there for you you know

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