Island Records – July 14th
The follow-up to their 2015 debut, Ultralife is Oh Wonder’s more exuberant self; rich with analogue synths and technicolour textures. So while some of the wistful vulnerability from that debut is lost, they make up for it in exploring the catchy pop hook. Take lead single ‘Ultralife’, ‘High on Humans’ and desire-driven ‘Heavy’ where “I could be the only one” could be sampled from a Janet Jackson record. True, the cohesion can sometimes be disrupted by unnecessary interludes or samples like the guitar in ‘Lifetimes’ or auto- tune in ‘Waste’, and piano-led ballads like ‘Bigger than Love’ fall short as formulaic, but overall Oh Wonder’s forte (intimate vocal harmonies that retain sweetness without excess) shines throughout Ultralife.