By Little Fish
'Wonderful' is the new single from Oxford three-piece Little Fish. It is a bold and powerful song sung with gusto by frontwoman Julia Sophie Heslop, known to her fans as Juju, whose hoarse, low vocal in the verses renders us unprepared for the hurricane of a chorus on the horizon. Indeed, it is her flexible vocal range that makes 'Wonderful' so mighty.
The bouncy, dreamy production comes courtesy of Supergrass' Gaz Coombes who recently spent time recording with the group in his basement. But despite its subterranean birthplace, 'Wonderful' soars like some great mythological bird, hitting heights that feel at times, especially in the decibel-shattering climax, a million miles above Earth.
Ben Walker, who joined the band in 2010, layers the song with complimentary lines of Hammond organ, while Neil Greenaway's modest drum beat keeps the song steady, anchored. Likewise, Julia keeps her guitar playing simple, just chords, which gives her incredible voice a chance to shine unthreatened by riffs and solos.
To its credit, 'Wonderful' is a very simplistically composed song, but the bubbly verses work up to a rather unique chorus; it almost feels like it comes in two parts. Led in by what could be best described as a rapid-fire three-line prologue, the catchiest part of the chorus sees Julia unleash the real might of her voice. It's here that Gaz Coombes works his magic best. In swelling the group's sound by emphasising the percussion and spacey guitar slides, he ensures that the chorus leaves a lasting impression, something which by now comes naturally to a man responsible for some of the 90's biggest sounding pop songs.
The release of 'Wonderful' hints that a new album isn't far off and although the group's debut album, 'Baffled and Beat,' didn't impress every music critic, it did still manage to hook some fans for the band. But 'Wonderful,' with its much more poppy sound, might be the record that draws in the masses.