OHMME with The Ophelias

OHMME with The Ophelias

Performers:
Ohmme
The Ophelias
The BishopBloomingtonIN
Ages 18+
Doors - 8:30pm Show - 9:30pm

Already celebrated as the “Heart of Chicago’s Music Community” (Noisey) by both fans and tastemakers alike, OHMME (aka the duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart) amalgamate the aggressive and the meditative on their bold debut full-length album, Parts.

Still in their 20s, Stewart and Cunningham are both classically trained musicians and are established players within the Chicago music scene. They are especially involved in performing and working for venues within the local experimental music scene. They’re constant collaborators and have recorded and toured with homegrown acts as varied as Tweedy, Whitney, Chance The Rapper and Twin Peaks.

Cunningham and Stewart are multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriters with a penchant for two instruments in particular. “The band started because we knew we could sing well together and we wanted to make some noise with the guitar,” says Cunningham. Stewart elaborates, “Sima and I are both trained classical pianists and we know many of the sonic spaces keyboards have to offer. Since we were interested in experimenting and creating something different from what we had both done in the past, we chose guitar as our outlet for this band. We wanted to create both new and uncomfortable parameters for ourselves to force us into a different creative space.” These guitar-heavy experiments are sometimes earthy and resounding, at other times shimmering and buzzing—swirling around the duo’s expertly crafted vocals while creating a chaotic bed of harmony. Cunningham’s smoky alto complements Stewart’s higher-register croon, all underpinned by the restrained yet highly inventive polyrhythmic percussion of drummer Matt Carroll. Think Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian-era Dirty Projectors.

Enlisting fellow Chicago cohorts Doug McCombs (Tortoise), Ken Vandermark and cellist Tomeka Reid, OHMME recorded and self-produced Parts from Cunningham’s Logan Square home studio, Fox Hall. With Parts, OHMME “wanted to capture a moment in time instead of something perfect.” The results are thrilling: from the pure pop opening track “Icon” to the candied sludge of “Peach” to the skipping rhythms of “Parts” and the dusky closer “Walk Me,” Parts draws from influences as diverse as Kate Bush and Brian Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets to jazz and improvisational music, making for an electric debut listening experience.

This range from sweetly shiny 2-minute hypnotic bangers to woozy and sprawling 7-minute long tracks boasting moodily atmospheric wafting guitars and piercing feedback shows a band colliding thoughtfulness and creative ingenuity to produce music as unique as it is earworm-worthy. With Parts, OHMME manage to organically marry a breadth of divergent styles into an album that is cohesive, daring, and distinctly their own.

Through a blend of understated rock, baroque pop and wide-skied atmospheres, The Ophelias explore the juxtapositions of youth in their album Almost.

Having formed the band while still in high school, bassist Grace Weir, guitarist/lyricist Spencer Peppet, percussionist Micaela Adams, and violinist Andrea Gutmann Fuentes first met at a time when each were independently serving as the “token girl” in various dude-bands from their hometown of Cincinnati, OH.

Coming from varied musical backgrounds (ranging from garage-rock, to surf, to opera), the distinct talents and influences of each member collided in unexpected ways at the band’s first rehearsal. It was here the band discovered that their chemistry wasn’t rooted in a shared musical reference point, but in the creative relief from the expected censorship of being a sideperson.

“In the past we had all kind of been the ‘girl in the band,’ in some capacity,” Peppet said. “Having a band of all women eradicates that possibility logistically, but also makes for a really creative environment without the patronization that often comes along with being the ‘girl in the band.’”

Produced by Yoni Wolf (WHY?), the new album Almost glides between palatial assuredness and pallid introspection, looking back on youthful yearning—the uncertainties, the traumas, the anxieties—without discounting its soft beauty.

The Ophelias steer Almost through the lineage of coming-of-age confessionals, and affectionately document their growth into a warm, fractured adulthood.

Venue Information:
The Bishop
123 S Walnut
Bloomington, IN, 47404