When Vienna, Austria’s Wanda burst onto the German-language music scene in 2014 it was seemingly out of nowhere. But before the end of that year, the band had a huge hit on their hands with their infectious single “Bologna.”
Today, the band has four albums under their belt — all of which went to the top of the charts in their home country in addition to most of the albums breaking into the top five in Germany.
The band has found a winning formula with catchy pop songs that make you want to sing along. So this month, let’s tune up our German skills and learn German with the music of Wanda!
Get to Know The Band
Wanda was formed in 2012 by frontman Marco Michael Wanda, guitarist Manuel Poppe, keyboardist Christian Hummer, bass player Ray Weber, and drummer Lukas Hasitschka. They took their name from Wanda Kuchwalek, famously known in the 1970s as “Vienna’s only female pimp.”
In 2020, Hasitschka, a founding member, parted ways with the group.
Wanda is a blending of sounds and styles. The group draws clear inspiration and influence from classic rock. But they repackage it for a modern era. The loose, sometimes wild, Marco fronts the band by channeling the spirits of Jim Morrison and Falco. He does all this while managing to hang on to one of the band’s trademarks: their Viennese dialect. While not thick, it is noticeable and part of a newer wave of Austrian bands (like Der Nino aus Wien and Voodoo Jürgens) not losing the unique charms that make them special.
Music of Wanda
Although they are no overnight success, Wanda did see their debut record reach near the top of the charts in their home country. Their infectious pop-rock songs, driven by memorable melodies, seem to be one of the keys to their popularity. And that success extends beyond the borders of Austria despite songwriter Marco’s use of Viennese dialect.
Roughly two years after their founding, the group released Amore. And while its debut single “Auseinandergehen ist schwer” was well-received with its sing-song melody, it was the second single that really made an impact. That track, “Bologna,” remains a trademark of the group. “Bologna” is an instant hit. It is also worth noting that usually groups release three or four singles and see modest success with their records. The band, on the other hand, released only two singles for Amore and earned a platinum record three times over in Austria.
The group decided to strike while the iron was hot. Their second album, Bussi (an Austrian and Southern German term for a kiss), was released the following year. With its insistent lead-off single of “Bussi Baby,” the album reached the top position in the Austrian music charts and an impressive #5 spot on the chart of neighboring Germany.
In 2017, the group returned with Niente. The album features the number one single “Columbo,” a nod to the popular detective series from television. With each album, the group has remained remarkably consistent in style and tone. The album Ciao followed in 2019.
During the summer of 2021, they released the single Die Sterne von Alterlaa. Wanda’s musical journey and adventure are not yet at an end.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo by Darryl Oswald, courtesy of All Artists Agency. This post contains affiliate links.