OH wonder live in Bangkok
In an era in which pop careers require careful planning and seem to be manufactured by label executives, Oh Wonder are the exception to the rule. They’re a band formed by accident not design, a duo who didn’t intend to play live but spent more than a year touring the world, and a major label act who never saw this being anything other than a DIY project.
Formed by classically-trained pianist and violinist Josephine Vander Gucht and producer Anthony West, Oh Wonder began as a simple side project for the two musicians before they developed a full blown international fanbase. After self-releasing 15 of their songs as an album, Oh Wonder bowed to pressure to play live, booking just four shows – in London, Paris, New York and L.A. When all four gigs sold out within a week they were inspired to tour, ending up crossing the States several times, finding fans as far afield as South America, Australia, Russia and Asia. It culminated in 162 shows in 14 months across 112 cities, and a mighty 83,000 tickets sold.
Along the way, Oh Wonder’s songs became soundtrack staples, featuring everywhere from Scream, Elementary and Made In Chelsea to Catfish, Collide and Coronation Street. The dreamy ‘Drive’ was used in the pilot for the BBC’s hit show Doctor Foster. ‘All We Do’ was the spectral theme tune for Unforgotten, ITV’s recent, acclaimed detective series.
With the upcoming release of their second album, Ultralife, the perennial underdog might just be about to become the odds-on favourite. Written in New York and London and entirely composed, produced and mixed by the duo, Ultralife takes the hallmarks of the band’s experimental debut – its hypnotic dual vocals, its exposed, emotional lyrics, its bewitching, ethereal beauty – and adds the weight of experience, the confidence of success and the coherence that comes from forward planning