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Hear the Wonder Years bring back ‘The Upsides’ era on “Brakeless”

'The Upsides' turns 10 this year.

October 23, 2020
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With the general elections right around the corner, the Wonder Years decided to take on a new challenge to register over 1,000 voters by Oct. 20. If they succeeded, they would treat fans to a brand new song ahead of the election.

Well, it looks like they managed to meet their goal with the help of On Friday, the Wonder Years released their new song “Brakeless” which is a true throwback to The Upsides era.

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Along with their voting registration goal, the Wonder Years are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album The Upsides. As well, next year marks the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough sophomore album Suburbia.

For vocalist Dan Campbell, he wanted to find a way to honor the anniversary and also push the Wonder Years to try something new. It was after he stumbled across some old demos that Campbell found the inspiration for “Brakeless.”

“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,” Campbell says. “What if we tried to go back and write songs that sounded like those records? What would that sound like?”

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In order to truly give “Brakeless” the authentic 2010 the Wonder Years sound, the band brought in individuals from that era. Suburbia producer Steve Evetts and Vince Ratti, who produced and mixed The Upsides, returned to help bring “Brakeless” to life. As well, the single’s artwork was done by Mitchell Wojcik who created the original cover for The Upsides.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters, the Wonder Years had to approach the recording of “Brakeless” a bit differently. A hurricane flooded several of the members’ basements as well as the control room at the studio the Wonder Years were recording in.

When the band finally came together to record “Brakeless,” they did so wearing masks and protective face shields. The band recorded the new song at Pennsylvania’s Retro City while Steve Evetts produced from his studio in California.

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Now that “Brakeless” is finally out, the Wonder Years are turning their attention to their annual Halloween event. Due to the pandemic, the Wonder Years are taking their Occasionally Annual Halloween Extravaganza completely virtual. 

The band are performing a full livestream set and will be splitting into two groups for dueling blink-182 cover sets. The event kicks off on Oct. 30 and tickets are available to purchase here.

“Brakeless” is available to stream below.

What are your thoughts on the Wonder Years’ new song? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Rachael Dowd