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  • Indie Rock, Roots-rock, Alternative Rock

O.A.R.

For over 25 years, O.A.R. have embodied the kind of joyfully communal spirit that's transcendent for both artist and audience alike. Since forming in Maryland in 1996, the multi-platinum-selling band have merged their musical DNA into a free-flowing sound and exhilarating live show, repeatedly selling out legendary venues like Madison Square Garden thanks to their massively devoted community of fans. In a thrilling new chapter for the ever-evolving collective, O.A.R.'s tenth studio album The Arcade marks their most collaborative effort yet: a boldly unpredictable body of work that fully showcases the extraordinary expanse of their singular musicality. "From the beginning, this band has been about people with different influences and different styles of playing coming together to tell stories through songs based on my lyrics," says O.A.R. lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Marc Roberge, whose bandmates include Richard On (lead guitar, backing vocals), Chris Culos (drums), Benj Gershman (bass), Jerry DePizzo (saxophone, guitar, backing vocals), MikelParis (keys, backing vocals, percussion), and Jon Lampley (trumpet, backing vocals). "Over the years our family has grown to the point where we've got seven musicians adding their flavor to the performances, and it felt like the perfect time to really lean into that collaborative spirit on the records, try new things, and celebrate the music we love." The follow-up to 2019's The Mighty (O.A.R.'s third consecutive Top 15 debut on the Billboard 200), The Arcade took shape at a deliberately unhurried pace, with the band often working remotely to craft its high-energy collision of alt-rock and roots music and left-of-center pop. "I think what I'll remember most about this album is the sheer amount of time we allowed ourselves to share ideas and then build those ideas into something even better, and ultimately come up with songs that we'd all love to sit back and listen to late at night or out on a long drive-an album you keep wanting to listen to all the way through," says Roberge. Partly recorded live with the entire band in New York City, The Arcade also finds O.A.R. joining forces with such eclectic producers/co-writers as Gregg Wattenberg (John Legend, Train), Adam Friedman (Tai Verdes, Allen Stone), Kellen "Pom Pom" Pomeranz (John Legend, Tai Verdes), Stephen Kellogg, Danny Chaimson, and Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas. "The reason we titled the album The Arcade is that an arcade contains so many different games, characters, colors, stories, sounds-but at the end of the day, all of that exists within the same space, under the same roof," Roberge explains.