Press Play: OHMME

OHMME is the brainchild of seasoned duo Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. Formed in 2014 in Chicago’s improvisational and experimental music scene, the two have forged a sound that is daring, cohesive, and unmistakably their own. Their instrumentals manifest the aggressive and the introspective, sometimes in the form of hypnotic two-minute ragers and other times in the form of seven-minute slow burners with moody atmosphere, wailing guitar and piercing feedback.

2017 album¬†Parts was OHMME’s first full-length album and it marked a strong debut. This first effort demanded attention from listeners and rarely paused for a moment of rest with constant tonal shifts and composition changes. Both “Water” and “Peach” work in power chords, feedback, and something unexpected. In “Water’s” case, there’s a repurposed metal motif in the chorus. Standout track “Sentient Beings” begins with screechy violin before transitioning into more careful strings, plucky vocals and a momentous build that blossoms into the most beautiful moment on Parts.¬† As the duo sings, “I was lost in your garden”, it’s easy to become lost in the music.

Earlier this month, OHMME released their second album Fantasize Your Ghost which saw the band expressing their experimental inclinations within bright and buoyant pop songs. The mood shifts in the album, from liberating chaos to meditative. The second track on the album, “Selling Candy”, is a banger with lurching guitar riffs, tight harmonies and mind-melting feedback. Later track “3243” comes off as much more retrained and hypnotic with an entrancing groove and the haunting repetition of the lyrics, “Different today, but I’m the same.” Every effort under OHMME has shown that no matter the soundscape, accomplished duo Cunningham and Stewart are capable of anything they set their minds to.