The Wonder Years & Real Friends

Taking its name from the TV show The Wonder Years, the Philadelphia punk pop band consists of guitarists Matt Brasch and Casey Cavaliere, vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell, bassist Josh Martin, drummer Mike Kennedy, and keyboardist/guitarist Nick Steinborn. In late 2007, The Wonder Years self-released an album, the emphatically titled Get Stoked on It! and quickly caught the eye of California label No Sleep, which signed the band. Their first record for the label was the EP Won’t Be Pathetic Forever. After a year spent recording its second album, the group released The Upsides in January of 2010. The record, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard alternative artist chart, gained The Wonder Years a deal with the larger indie Hopeless, which reissued the album in September with four bonus tracks. With a solidified lineup, The Wonder Years got to work on their next album. In 2011, they released their third album, Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing, inspired by the Allen Ginsberg poem entitled “America.” It was followed by the arrival of a B-sides compilation, Sleeping on Trash, as well as their fourth full-length album, The Greatest Generation, in 2013. Campbell began working on songs for the next Wonder Years project, but suffered a powerful case of writer’s block that triggered a severe bout with depression. Campbell eventually channeled the emotions stirred up by his struggles into the group’s fifth studio album, 2015’s No Closer to Heaven, a concept piece about coming to terms with the death of a loved one. It was hailed by critics as a major musical accomplishment for the band.

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