One of the biggest electronic music exports to come out of Sydney is delivering one massive album. Alison Wonderland has spent the past few years really perfecting and honing her craft, working on her vocals and earning herself a reputation as a real queen of the bass world. Headlining festivals, selling out headline shows and releasing radio loved tracks has put her well at the head of the pack.
‘AWAKE’ is the second album from Wonderland and it is jam packed with tunes that you’d expect to hear in a set from Diplo or Dillon Francis. Kicking it off we have ‘Good Enough’, which is a much slower builder and I guess kind of sets the tone and direction for the album itself. With only her vocals on it, a drawn out build-up and a hefty bass kick towards the end, it’s really quite a powerful number. The string synths really add a level of intensity to it. Up next is ’02 no’ which is definitely a slower jam, with some real trop-house style percussions, yet still maintaining that AW sound. Her vocals really compliment the style of this track and it is structured incredibly well; the way she layered and pitched her vocals on this track really takes it to the next level.
‘Okay’ comes in next and delivers that festival sound you’ve grown to expect and love; monster build ups, even more gnarly drops and a pure anthem feel. She really rips the lid off with this track. Lock your elbows into trap mode and start throwing them. ‘Easy’ is really nice and Wonderland’s vocals feature incredibly on it. It is definitely the most raw version of her vocals yet. The context of the song is incredibly deep and touches heavily on themes of depression, heartbreak and self-medicating.
The first feature artist is Trippie Redd who features on ‘High’, a rather low slung bass track, heavily autotuned and very experimental in sound and texture. It’s not for everyone, but it’s dope. Throwing you right out of your chair comes ‘Here 4 U’ which is jam packed with all the right synths, kicks, percussions and sounds. It’s wobbly, hefty and feels like a truck came through the house. ‘Church’ comes in at the half way point, keeping the feels high and energy levels at stoke. It’s that festival sound and a classic sing along in the making.
The second feature is Buddy on ‘Cry’. It has a real 90s R&B feel to it, like somewhere between Shaggy and Chingy, yet with AW’s own twist on it. The lyrical context is quite deep, which is in a bit of a contrast with the sound. ‘Happy Place’ I expect will become the biggest from the album; it just smashes sound to the walls and packs her brand into it tightly with the hook “fuck me up on a spiritual level”, which is her in a nutshell. ‘Dreamy Dragon’ featuring Chief Keef didn’t really do it for me; it felt a bit empty in comparison to her other tracks in both context and feeling.
Rounding out the album is ‘Sometimes Love’, which is a Slumberjack collab and is filled with bass just like you’d expect. Mosh pits will be exploding to this one, and the low slung bass kick really takes it home for me. Finally we have the title track ‘Awake’ which again follows Wonderland’s own journey of depression and heartbreak. The production is real tight on this one.
All up, it’s a great album and Wonderland continues to shine a light on her personal life and the battles she faces daily. My favourite was definitely ‘Here 4 U’. Expect to hear this album in sets worldwide.