Oyo reflects on their sophomore album ‘Another Round’

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Appalachian roots band Oyo’s sophomore album, Another Round was already released digitally this week, but band members Michael Bond and Aaron Martin want you to know that their music is best enjoyed live.

Recorded in a cabin in the woods, Another Round picks up where the band’s self-titled first album left off. Martin, who, with Bond, also serves as a songwriter for Oyo, said “I think we kind of stayed true to where we left off on the last one, trying to capture that kind of live sound, which we did. We recorded almost every song — the basic tracks — all live and then did some overdubbing to add to all the songs, but they were all played live.”

An image of the cover of Oyo's "Another Round" album. The cover is a picture of a woodcutting depicting a kitchen stove with a stand up bass leaned against it.

Bond added, “I think we’re definitely a live band, first and foremost, and we try our best to capture that kind of energy in the sound of the records. And this one, we tried pretty hard.”

Another Round is almost themed around that cabin in the woods, actually. Staying true to that theme is the cover art, which Bond tells me is a real wood carving cut by Bobby Rosenstock, the band’s banjo player. And, just like how a cabin in the woods is safe to some, for others, it’s a step out of their comfort zone.

With that, even though Bond and Martin say they haven’t changed much since their first album was released last year, they admit the band tried getting a little experimental this time around.

“[While recording the first album], for a lot of the folks in our band, it was their very first time in front of recording gear in any way, shape or form. So, a lot of our band were complete virgins of the process for our first record. And I think it was impossible not to learn a lot,” said Bond. “This time it was nice. I think people felt a little bit more comfortable and we felt the ability to be a little more experimental with things and use the studios more than just microphones picking up what we were doing.”

The two musicians also say that they don’t necessarily fit into one genre, which reflects in Another Round.

“We spend a lot of time explaining to people what we’re not,” said Bond. Martin added, “A lot of the time, people see banjos and mandolin and think that we’re gonna be bluegrass, which we’re not.”

“Ask any bluegrass person,” said Bond. “They will very quickly point out that we’re not bluegrass.”

While the band members were excited to experiment, staying true to their identity was of the utmost importance to them. As they identified earlier, they consider Oyo a live band, and when I asked them what was next, it was overwhelmingly live performances for the rest of the summer. Bond mentioned a performance at Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta.

“I think we would like just to kind of play these songs for a while, and get this out there in front of people,” said Bond. “And it’s always good. There’s always an excitement around a new record, and seeing people’s reaction to hearing things for the first time, or hearing things the first time after they’ve actually listened to them on record.”

Another Round is available on Bandcamp. Find information on the band’s upcoming live dates at this link: