A well-oiled trio that excels at an even mix of polished pop/rock and sweaty, blue-eyed soul, Chicago's AyOH are building on their already apparent buzz since forming two years ago, and are set to embark on their next phase after their impressive EP, Take It To The People was released earlier this year. On it, singer/guitarist Avi Dell, bassist Lin Takrudtong and drummer John Paul Arrotti have crafted a sonic kaleidoscope of soaring guitars, breathtaking orchestration, propulsive backbeats and songs that are destined for a major audience.
Bands as varied as Counting Crows to Fleetwood Mac to Green Day have sung their own group's name, or titled songs after themselves before, and while Dell and company do so on the foot-tapping lead-off track "AyOH (Out Alive)," their name is so synonymous with sing-alongs in concert or in your car that it never comes off as trying too hard. The song has already received airplay on WXRT's Local Anesthetic program and is picking up steam as we speak. Producer Steve Gillis, former drummer of Filter ("Hey Man, Nice Shot," "Take My Picture"), is a fantastic match for the group, as these songs shine around every corner, whether it's the swelling strings on the tender "Bathing In The Snow," or the echoes and audio gut-punch of "Denial," where Dell's poignant vocals recall The Frames' Glen Hansard.
Thailand native Takrudtong, and Arrotti (a Chicago native who worked in Nashville for a time with American Music Award winner John Hiatt's daughter Lilly) stand side-by-side on each track, relying on each other like war buddies and not moving without the other in tow, giving the entire EP a driving, dynamic palette for Dell's images of heartbreak and hope. A native of Pittsburgh, Dell credits his stint overseas in the Israeli Army as a touchstone for inspiring his songwriting, and together, they've crafted an EP that's sure to cast a wide net over audiences near and far. While the sounds of The Killers or Two Door Cinema Club aren't far off, AyOH pulls from far more musical and life histories, making for a magnetic, prominent draw in the Chicago rock scene.