Traffic Jams: Oh Wonder - ‘Don't Let The Neighbourhood Hear’

Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.

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Over the months, we’ve covered some pretty cool music with Traffic Jams, and it’s been great hearing artists for the first time thanks to the picks of my fellow writers. But sometimes, you just need a great pop record to kick start your week, and today I’m here to provide that. More specifically, a pop duo based in Brixton is here to provide that.

The London duo call themselves Oh Wonder. They’ve been knocking around for a few years and have put out some great records. And today, I’d like to draw your attention to a track called “Don’t Let The Neighbourhood Hear,” which is a pretty neat introduction to where they are.


The track is from the band’s latest album, which is called 22 Break and came out last summer. And where past records have been, on the whole, pretty loved up tracks about relationships, touring the world and all the other go-top topics of a British pop group, this one’s a little different.

Formed by Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht in the early 2010s, the duo had a pretty prolific few years releasing three albums and playing countless shows in the years up to 2020. But then, when the pandemic hit, they were forced to cancel a world tour because of the spread of COVID.


The duo, a couple by this time, was forced inside like the rest of the world, and found themselves re-evaluating their relationship. A relationship they’d built while playing shows across the globe.

They’ve often described the record as “maybe the first break-up album in history written and recorded with the person you’re breaking up with,” which is a pretty bleak idea to think about. The resulting album is 34 minutes of soul-searching as the pair question who they are, and this track is a definite standout for me.


Ultimately, though, it does have a happy ending as writing this album helped rebuild their relationship and they’re now married and back on tour.

Fun fact, it was my birthday yesterday and to celebrate I finally got to see them live in Brooklyn – more than two years after plans to go to a show in Bristol were put on hold.