If there’s one good thing about living through a cultural decline, it’s that humans seem to be significantly less concerned with adhering to strict structures. Louisville, KY artist Wonderkind is making the kind of music that defies any sort of categorization. On two new singles, “Heartbreak Dance” and “Hindsight’s 2020,” the artist pulls out all kind of card tricks to make songs that would feel at home in any of the past four decades.
Wonderkind is the brainchild of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Grant Snell. Snell produces everything himself at his Louisville home, and the sounds he’s able to conjure match anything coming out of bigger studios. WonderKind’s forthcoming record, The Hits, was forged during a season of change. Pandemic lockdowns led to self-reflection, healthy changes, and a period of prolific songwriting for the artist. And on the cusp of releasing this record, Snell is introducing us to his unique brand of songwriting and soundcrafting on these two singles.
What amazes me the most about Wonderkind is that it sounds simultaneously nostalgic and present. From the thick 80s synthesizers in “Hindsight’s 2020” to the vibey, fuzzy 2010s guitar solos on “Heartbreak Dance,” Snell’s influences seem to sprawl the past 50 years of recorded music. These songs are seriously danceable, but also lean into serious topics lyrically. On “2020,” Snell sings, “Now I’m ridin’ on the edge of my mind / Cause I’ve got to leave a legacy behind.” Over a groovy drum machine and chime-y electric piano, Snell sings about the human need to leave a trace of ourselves behind.
Not only will you find yourself dancing around your living room to these singles, but Wonderkind weaves clever insights about the human experience into these songs. So,shuffle your feet and scratch your head! Swing your hips and free your mind – Wonderkind just pulled into town.
Listen to the singles below, and continue reading for an exclusive interview with the artist!
Do you write and arrange your songs to feel timeless? It kind of seems like your music would find a home anywhere in the past few decades.
Yes! I’m definitely going for a timeless feel when arranging music. I listen to a lot of music from past decades so I think it comes out in my own writing.
-Your previous band, Church Friends, broke up during the pandemic. Did that band have an influence on the songs you’re writing now?
No doubt, the break up of Church Friends as a band did have an influence on me and my songwriting. We spent about 5 years playing a lot of jam, funk, and soul influenced music. To be honest, I really wanted to get away from all of that and do something that was sonically different. I was really digging the 80’s and all the sounds from that era for a while so that had a big influence on my current sound.
-What can we expect from the rest of the songs on The Hits?
The rest of the songs have either an 80’s feel or a Beatles-esque sound. The sounds vary quite a bit but there is an overall theme/feeling of triumph and positivity on The Hits.
-Was there any cool gear that led to light-bulb moments on these songs?
YES – a lot of the synth based songs were created simply by messing around with this old 80’s synth – Korg DW-8000. This led me to create some sounds that I had never used before. I also used a Roland RE-20 space echo for a lot of the vocals and a Roland sbf stereo flanger to change a lot of the synth sounds. Those 3 pieces of gear had a huge influence on the sound of The Hits.
-When can we expect The Hits to hit our ears?
No release date has been set yet! I got caught up with working on a whole new set of tunes. New music of some variety should be coming out in the months to follow.
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