The Omaha band Uh Oh released its newest album “Good Morning” on Dec. 3. The 11-track album will have a dramatically different sound from the group’s previous releases, taking inspiration from art rock.
Though the band first released music in 2015, since 2017, Uh Oh’s lineup has consisted of co-vocalists and guitarists Joe Champion and Mari Crisler, bassist Erik Trent and drummer Jay Jacobson. The foursome’s last album, “Stay Close,” debuted in 2019 with a classic emo sound, according to Crisler.
“We usually like to think of it as early 2000s emo-vibes, like Rilo Kiley, and also heavily inspired by Jeff Rosenstock and PUP and bands like that, like more contemporary indie punk,” Crisler said. “But we’ve gotten a lot of comments on this newest album that it sounds like art rock, like Talking Heads and The Flaming Lips and stuff like that, so that’s definitely taking it in a new direction and are things I never even thought about before to compare us to.”
Champion said as he and Crisler became more confident in their songwriting abilities, their influences fell into the background of their music instead of remaining at the forefront.
“We, as songwriters, have gotten a lot more confident and comfortable with each other, so a lot of our influences in the indie-rock world or 60s-pop world or early-2000s rock type of stuff just gets put through our own filter at this point,” Champion said. “I think, for this album, it’s the most ‘us’ that we have ever sounded. It sounds a little bit more unique, and we have our own spin on it.”
He said “Good Morning” is full of vocal harmonies, catchy melodies and hard-edged rhythms, while Crisler felt the lyrics of the album are the glue that holds it together.
“It’s influenced by a lot of different genres but it’s held together more lyrically than it is musically,” Crisler said. “I think the lyrics blend it together really well and hold everything together, but it’s musically all over the place.”
Crisler said diehard Uh Oh fans may be in for a shock when they listen to it on a streaming platform — or see the band perform at the album release event at The Sydney on Dec. 10 — primarily because of the album’s change in genre.
“I think we might have pulled out some different stops on the last album, and people might have been surprised that we could, like, write a six-minute ballad, but on this album, straight up, some of the songs could have been Talking Heads or Fleetwood Mac songs,” Crisler said. “They’re very different from everything else we’ve put out before.”
Champion said he hopes the audience is surprised and sees the change as an evolution.
"I like what we’re doing more than ever,” Champion said. “I think once they give it a shot, they’ll like it. I don’t think there’s anything that far out there that will turn people off. I think it’s easily our best music that we’ve made so far.”