The Wrecks have released Sonder, an 11-track genre-bending alt-rock album delivering an honest and vulnerable approach to a breakup. The Wrecks – made up of vocalist/producer Nick Anderson, Aaron Kelley on bass, Nick “Schmizz” Schmidt on guitar, and Billy Nally on drums – have evolved and matured through their exploration of sound since the release of their LP Infinitely Ordinary (2020) while maintaining elements of their previous works.
In Sonder, Anderson goes through the stages of grief: anger, depression, and finally, acceptance of the end of a relationship. The frontman explains, “I wrote this album because I had to. I was slowly and poorly processing a breakup, and for a while there, the breakup was winning. At some point, the tables turned and the breakup became everything I’ve needed for the last two years to write music that I was proud of and was true to me as a writer and to the progress of our band.”
Sonder begins with the track of the same name. The pop-rock song is a strong start to the album, setting the mood for the following tracks. Anderson channels anger and frustration towards a past love whom he felt was self-involved. “How come your truth revolves around you?” he sings. “I had a lot to say / Never came out in the right way / What a petty mistake / You were looking at me sideways / Here comes the truth, it’s not about you.”
The album maintains this feeling of frustration into the next track “I Love This Part.” “I Love This Part” is a liberating alt-rock post-breakup song fueled by anger. It’s a release from this past love and a realization of what the relationship was actually built on. “Lone Survivor” follows a similar sentiment – a breakup anthem meant to help the singer process his anger while building himself up from this fresh loss – all over an upbeat sound. “Ugly Side” is Anderson’s self-reflection on the relationship and his own toxicity or his “ugly side.” “I was cold and inattentive / barely in the room / I was coddled, I was fenced in / hardly thanks to you / I guess I’d never known the real me / never cared to look,” the frontman sings in the song’s bridge.
I just want to fall in love like everyone else does.
How come it’s so hard for me? How come it’s so hard for me?
What does it take to be normal?The Wrecks, “Normal”
In “Normal” there is so much vulnerability. Anderson uses storytelling techniques to convey his sadness and self-destructive tendencies after his loss. “I’m getting used to your silence / it can’t hurt me like I can,” he sings before going into the chorus. “Normal” is so honest. You get a sense of the speaker’s feeling of inadequacy and their belief that they are incapable of finding love and thus unable to be what is deemed to be “normal.”
The album being titled Sonder is fitting because it ties into this acceptance that people have a life of their own in which they’re constantly making their own decisions. It’s this release of control and acceptance of change. Sonder is the understanding of the complexity of not just strangers but those closest to us – especially those we once loved. Sometimes we seem to forget that everyone is experiencing life themselves; experiencing sadness, anger, and even a release from what once was. With this album, The Wrecks were able to convey so much honesty and openness when it comes to heartbreak, loss, and anger – something that isn’t always easy.