The Hum Goes on Forever by The Wonder Years: Favorite Albums of 2022
When you miss the first part of the ride with a band, it's almost never too late to catch up. The Wonder Years make it worth it.
I think I became a superfan for The Wonder Years this year with their album The Hum Goes on Forever. It came out too late in the year to make my Spotify wrapped, but it has been on repeat. It’s just one of those albums that is absolutely in my personal wheelhouse. Much in the way Spanish Love Songs took over my world a couple years ago, I became obsessed with The Wonder Years. I’m telling you I went deep to the point that I was listening to Dan Campbell’s solo cover of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” on repeat for a day. You should listen to it, it’s really good. But back to The Wonder years.
The Wonder Years are a pop punk emo band entering middle age. As a man in his 40s grasping age all the time, I love to hear how musicians handle continuing to create in a genre built for the young as they age. I’ve seen Manchester Orchestra find a new stride for their band as they aged. I’ve listened to Mansions mature as well. I wasn’t on board for the whole ride with The Wonder Years, but as I catch up I’m listening to it for myself, and I love where they’ve arrived.
“Doors I Painted Shut” is a phenomenal entry to begin an album. “I don’t want to die. At least not without you. Alone here in the August heat. In shadows of the afternoon.” It’s a jangly song that builds until it explodes at about two minutes showing off Dan Campbell’s big vocal range. “I don’t want to die, or maybe I do. Cause everything’s so fucking dark. You found me crying in the other room.”
“Cardinals II” is an example of The Wonder Years at their best. It’s a continuation of the song “Cardinals” from 2015’s No Closer to Heaven. The sequel is a phenomenal song, with subtle nods to the original. As a late-comer to the band, it was fun to read along as the die hards on Reddit talked about this song and all the little things they found in it.
Like most of the rest of the albums from the year, I could go track by track and write about every song in depth. They’re all worthy, but I wanted to spend some extra time talking about one of my very favorite songs from the entire year, “Laura & the Beehive.” It’s a beautiful song and goes to show just how comfortable this band is in its own skin. It’s vulnerable and pretty and still has Dan Campbell going to the very top of his vocal range for maximum effect. I was especially impressed when they released an on-the-nose live video of the song live from a sunflower field. It’s just so good it hurts.
Well I’m writing songs to tell everyone that I love them
While they’re still here to sing along.
You’ve been the north star since I’ve been born
Where the light's from
And I'll follow 'til the glow is gone
The Wonder Years are everything I love about music. It rocks. It’s sincere. It’s urgent and feels like everything they have to say could be the most important thing they’ve ever said. I’m a bit sad that I’m only just now jumping on the bandwagon, but judging by the level of music they just produced, I’m definitely not too late.