Back on September 22nd for National Voter Registration day, The Wonder Years put out a challenge to their fans. The challenge was simple: the band shared a link to register to vote, and if they could register 1,000 new voters/voter actions using that link by October 20th, they would release a new song.
As you know from the title of the post, they achieved that goal. In collaboration with Headcount.org, today The Wonder Years have celebrated reaching their goal by releasing a brand new song called “Brakeless.”
While The Wonder Years have constantly evolved over the course of their career, shifting their sound and changing it up a bit with each album, they wanted to find a new way to challenge themselves to celebrate the upcoming milestones of their earlier work. Written and recorded in the style of their 2010 breakout album The Upsides, “Brakeless” is one of two new songs that The Wonder Years crafted to help commemorate the back-to-back 10 year anniversaries of that album and its follow-up, 2011’s Suburbia I’ve Given You All & Now I’m Nothing.
“I was going through old hard-drives full of demos and voice notes when I stumbled onto an idea I had that never got brought to the band,” vocalist Dan Campbell explains of the retrospective writing approach on the new song. Listening to it ten years later inspired an idea: “what if we tried to go back and write songs that sounded like those records? What would that sound like?”
To truly encapsulate the era from those earlier times, The Wonder Years brought back the entire team to help: Steve Evetts, who produced Suburbia, agreed to produce and Vince Ratti, who produced and mixed The Upsides, came back to mix. The artwork was also done by Mitchell Wojcik, who created the original and iconic The Upsides album cover.
Listen to their new song “Brakeless” below.