Pop Rock quartet Oh So Luminous made its live debut in 2017 and ever since, the musicians — Cincinnati veterans Whitney Szabo (the singer/songwriter local audiences might best remember as Whitney Barricklow), Mark Szabo (bass), Kent Meloy (guitar) and Ryan Bouts (drums) — have been honing their songs, both on stage and, eventually, in the studio.
Oh So Luminous’ debut album, You Have Always Been, was released today (June 7) and is currently available for streaming on Spotify.
The musicians’ experience shines through in the musical tightness and formidable songwriting chops on display throughout You Have Always Been, which brings to mind some of the more potent Power Pop/AltRock bands of the ’90s, like Letters to Cleo, Material Issue, Veruca Salt and Too Much Joy.
Colorful, hyper-catchy melodies abound on You Have Always Been and are given extra oomph by Whitney Szabo’s vibrant vocals. Each of the musicians’ contributions are crucial to the LP’s creative success, though. Meloy’s consistently impressive guitar work moves between sharp-edge punchiness and churning expansiveness. On the rhythmic end, Mark Szabo’s bass is high in the mix and for good reason — the bass lines often have a McCartney-like melodic might that makes them operate like another lead guitar. Szabo’s bass can also lock into powerful and sometimes downright funky grooves, which Bouts’ drumming anchors with precision. But Bouts’ role isn’t just as a backbone — his playing is just as musical and expressive as the other musicians’ contributions.
Join Oh So Luminous tonight at Newport’s Southgate House Revival as they celebrate the release of You Have Always Been. Endive and the Whiskey Shambles Duo will also perform. Showtime is 9 p.m., admission is $5 and the event is open to all ages.
Visit ohsoluminous.com for more info.