This is the fourth installment of a five-part series this week documenting songs by “no-hit wonders.” Although these artists may have had cult followings and minor success on some of the “genre” charts, they didn’t even register enough mainstream success to really qualify as “one-hit wonders.” The tracks featured in this series reached the ears of TWTR podcast host Brian Kelley one way or another, and the objective of these posts is to hopefully focus some attention on some great songs that didn’t get the notoriety they likely deserved.
I was exposed to Oppenheimer when the pop/electronica duo from Belfast, Ireland, opened for They Might Be Giants in Philly in November 2007. I immediately took a liking to them and wanted to hear more from them. I loved their first two albums, their self-titled debut and its follow-up, Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It. But the duo called it quits in late 2009 after starting work on a third album. This Racket Takes Its Toll was eventually released in 2012–three years after the duo’s last performance together–and included material that did not appear on the first two records.
You may have heard Oppenheimer’s music on television shows like How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, but they unfortunately failed to garner mainstream success despite some really fun, catchy songs. And they were a pretty good live act, too.
Another cool thing about Oppenheimer was that they used my home state of New Jersey in the title of a song that appeared on Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It. Here is “Fireworks are Illegal in the State of New Jersey.”