On the recording of Ultralife the new album from Oh Wonder, Josie Vander Gucht and Anthony West were juggling with the London transport system to record the new tracks. Recording the new album themselves, the pair had to work around buses going past their studio at night which made the process a little tricky. The faint trickle of an emergency service can be heard at the start of ‘Solo’ and showcases as one of the highlights on this album.
On the back of their previous album cycle, the band played 162 shows in 14 months and have become a strong favourite of people all around the world. The sweet vocal harmonies of Vander Gucht and West are present in the title track, which belts along at pace and could be heard as a summer festival sing-along. ‘Heart Strings’ is inspired by the likes of The Beatles and The Beach Boys and that can be heard in the musically frenetic chorus.
Self-releasing their 2015 debut album, Ultralife is a big step forward for Oh Wonder who have crafted their own synth-pop sound over the past two years. This album is for the conservative listener that delves right into albums yet if you’re looking for one or two tracks to listen to, I’d check out ‘Slip Away’ and ‘High On Humans’.
Reviewed by Tex Miller