Way back in 1984, as it was about to reach its burnt marshmallow conclusion, Ghostbusters described a fairly terrifying picture of a forthcoming apocalypse. Religion too has taught for centuries that there are signs to look for that will indicate the end of days. Now, we’re not saying that Oh Wonder are the harbingers of doom, but having had a rigid modus operandi of releasing one track a month for a year, that they have now given us two new songs in seven days is surely an indication that the time of ”dogs and cats living together” is nearly upon us. Thankfully they are giving us some cracking tunes to go out on.
Following on from last
month’s week’s “Ultralife”, “Lifetimes” is the second song to be taken from their forthcoming new album, also called Ultralife.
Aside from the head-spinning revision of their release strategy, listening, it’s almost as if they haven’t been away at all. The dual vocals still sound as lovely as ever, the melody is uplifting and dreamy and the hook is as catchy and sing-along as ever.
In essence, “Lifetimes” sounds very much like Oh Wonder while sounding not like Oh Wonder at all. All the elements are there but the beat is bigger and there is a piano line that to our (extremely odd) mind makes us think of late 80’s New York based business based movies (we’re thinking Trading Places and Working Girl, that sort of thing). It even features Anthony showing off his flow and getting his rap game on.
That it sounds more overtly hip-hop influenced than previous releases shouldn’t really be that surprising though, there were always undercurrents within their debut album and anyone who has seen them live will have heard how those undercurrents are made more prominent and energetic. It also continues to show off the pair’s social conscience (something that was very evident on their eponymous debut album) as it looks at climate change, its impact and even its deniers.
Oh Wonder are back and it’s brilliant. Now excuse us while we sing along happily while checking outside to see if the dead have started rising from their graves.
Oh Wonder’s new album ‘Ultralife’ is due for release on 16 June via Island Records and can be pre-ordered here