Mature sound on new album for Oval Opus

Erika Kreider

“It all comes down to the music,” when Oval Opus plays at the Outpost Friday evening.

Credit: Ben Breier


Oval Opus

Where? The Outpost, Kent

When? Friday, 9 p.m.

Ages? 18 and over


Having played together since their high-school years, the members of Oval Opus are now focusing on adult issues through their writing.

“We wanted to write songs with bigger issues. It’s a different writing, it’s a little more grown-up,” said singer Aaron Patrick. “We wanted to take out time. We didn’t want to force it.”

This loving singer, whose military father recently was activated to help in New Orleans, is more than just a front man in a band; he understands real-life emotions, whether they are loving or hurtful.

The band’s new LP is due out in December, but Oval Opus isn’t rushing the album they’ve been working on since 2003.

“We wanted to write songs, take them on the road, let them breathe and come alive,” Patrick said. “I feel like I learned a lot over the years. With this record we’re ready to take the next step.”

On their new EP, the song “First Name Kids” floats with lyrics, “After all the dreams and the first kids’ names/ There’s no one to blame/ But I’m still here without you/And do you feel the same when I tell you that I’m feeling all right?”

Do not let the maturity of Patrick scare a first-time listener away. The sound of Oval Opus is very similar to O.A.R., a college radio type of sound. Also, it is light and airy, like Jason Mraz.

Oval Opus has shared the stage with Guster, Maroon 5 and Fastball.

“Erwin Musper is the producer of the new album. He’s produced albums with Van Halen and Bon Jovi. There’s a reason his name is on over 80 million records,” Patrick said.

The band plans to tour the East Coast, including a stop at The Outpost in Kent.

Mahoney’s favorite aspect about playing a live show is the one-on-one contact with fans.

“We feed off the energy of the crowd,” Patrick said. “Some of the best shows are at packed clubs where everyone is sweaty, and there’s an electric energy in the air. You’re out there with your emotions on your sleeve.”

Oval Opus is a solid band, keeping the same line-up together for eight years and four albums.

“Collective debt as a band held us together,” Mahoney said with a chuckle.

Another project that Oval Opus has succeeded in accomplishing is earning a spot in the top three semi-finalists in the MTV/Coca-Cola Make it Real Contest, which awards the hardest working unsigned music artist.

“It’s a really unique job with this business. But it all comes down to the music,” Patrick said.

Contact ALL reporter Erika Kreider at [email protected].