Oh Wonder – ‘Ultralife’

By Jess Tagliani

Oh Wonder have been nothing short of a phenomenon since the duo popped up on the scene. Boasting melodic choruses and beautiful harmonies, this London-based pair have gone from strength to strength off the back of their 2015 self-titled album. With such a successful debut, it can be daunting when it comes to recording the next record but, not surprisingly, Oh Wonder have created yet another intricate and gorgeous album in the form of ‘Ultralife’.

From the opening chords of ‘Solo’ to the final strains of ‘Waste’, Oh Wonder take listeners on an emotional rollercoaster. The sparkly title track ‘Ultralife’ combines their delicious vocals with delicate, blossoming harmonies, whilst the melancholic ‘Bigger Than Love’ soars with emotional tenacity.

Bruising emotion brings ‘Slip Away’ to life, along with Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West’s beautiful and gentle vocals. The melodies and harmonies the pair create are utterly astounding and almost other-worldly; it’s quiet yet sure of its strength. Then there’s the likes of ‘Heart Strings’, a bewitching and mesmerising track, and the ethereal, hypnotic ‘Overgrown’ which comes complete with questioning and gut-wrenching lyrics of “Did I / did I / did I do you wrong?”

Closer ‘Waste’ is incredibly moving and paints a story of what life is like when there’s no one to share experiences with; the emotion is thick in both Josephine and Anthony’s vocals, bringing beautiful depth to end such a beautiful album.

In ‘Ultralife’, Oh Wonder have created another fantastic alt-pop album: one that’ll make people swing from highs to lows, one that’ll make people want to sing out loud. It’s refreshing, fantastic and touching, all in one. It is a work of art.

JESS TAGLIANI

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