Following in the footsteps of Justin Bieber’s Journals and Ash’s A-Z, British electronic duo Oh Wonder are the latest act to toy with the album format by pre-releasing every single track that appears on their first full-length studio effort.
The risky strategy might not have exactly reaped rewards for the former tween idol or Northern Irish rockers, but with each song racking up over a million Soundcloud plays and topping the Hype Machine charts, it’s one which appears to have paid off for the previously relative unknowns.
Proving that familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt, the band previously known as Wonder Wonder dropped their self-titled debut album earlier this month, a sophisticated blend of jazz, R&B and electronica which evokes the similar late night dinner party vibes as The xx, James Blake and London Grammar.
However, “Dazzle,” a smoky trip-hop number based on a Louis Theroux documentary about gambling in “Las Vegas,” and “Lose It,” a finger-clicking slow jam inspired by a 24-hour party which they largely spent dancing alone to Sum 41, suggests the pair are a little more idiosyncratic than the majority of the quiet brigade.
Singer Josephine Vander Gucht and producer Anthony Wes (formerly of indie outfit Futures) only joined forces permanently last summer as Oh Wonder after various chance meetings led the pair to believe that a musical partnership might be their destiny.
With the intention of challenging themselves as songwriters, the duo began uploading a brand new track every month, with “Drive” and “Livewire” also receiving a video treatment, a move which quickly built up blogosphere buzz and eventually inspired Vander Gucht to quit both her job and her English Literature degree studies.
Having just received a rapturous response to their first ever live show, Oh Wonder will head out on a brief US and European tour before hitting the Australian festival circuit in early 2016.