- Still Life Uh Oh 4:05
In a past life, Uh Oh (Omaha, NE) existed primarily as a live band — they would only record an album when they had enough songs written, many of which would be tailored to match the energy of an audience. For a band that lived for catharsis, they were left with few options and a lot to think about when the world was rearranged in early 2020.
Without live shows, Uh Oh’s focus for the next year became working on their next LP. As frontman Joe Champion puts it, he writes songs to solve a puzzle in his head, and his new reality was taking more contemplation to understand by the day. The resulting collection of songs, Good Morning (out on Dec. 10), is Uh Oh’s first proper attempt at making a concise, front-to-back artistic statement. It marks the completion of Uh Oh’s evolution from basement-dwelling DIY rockers to dabblers in art-rock, who write with the detail of Broken Social Scene for an audience that’s into Jeff Rosenstock.
On Good Morning, Champion and co-songwriter Mari Crisler, along with bassist Erik Trent and drummer Jay Jacobson, pen songs from the perspective of floaters through the Midwest void in an uncertain present. Existential anxieties creep into the lyrics with little in the way of solutions, but who can blame them? Does anyone know the answers at this point? Champion is at his most inquisitive when he asks, “How will you remember me when all’s said and done? Have you ever seen me at my best? Has anyone?”
But in the same breath, the band reveals their coping mechanism: squinting into the bleakness to find bits of hope and sunlight. They revel in those moments, because they’re not guaranteed to last. In that respect, Good Morning brims with warmth. To a listener, it’s enveloping. It’s putting on your coat before walking out onto the crunchy snow. Or hearing a familiar voice on the other end of a phone call. It’s Uh Oh. Your new friends from Omaha.
Written by Sam Crisler