Ohm is an electrical resistance between two points of a conductor; OHMME lives in that resistance creating electric chaos between the two points of Chicago’s Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. The energy from their musical upbringings enabled the two to create a vocal project that combines flawless harmonies with a gnarled guitar backbone. They veer towards experimentation while keeping tune in mind, choosing to push each other when they clash and following the sound rather than holding themselves to a rigid set of standards on how chords should be performed and arranged. Their resulting sound is at once familiar yet beautifully unconventional.
Both Cunningham and Stewart were classically trained from a young age and lead vocalists in previous projects. Cunningham spent her formative musical years in The Chicago Children’s Choir before playing keyboards and singing in rock and folk bands, and recording her first solo album at the age of 15. Stewart began learning both piano and violin at 3 and went on to become a founding member of the bands Kids These Days and Marrow. Eventually they were connected via the Chicago improvisational music scene and their mutual attraction to chaos and harmony in music. In 2014 they began working on the project that would become OHMME (a play on the French term for man.)
The duo’s self-titled debut, OHMME, was engineered and produced by Dorian Gehring at Fox Hall Studios in Chicago. OHMME and are joined by Jeff Parker (Tortoise) on guitar on the “Bully Clouds”.
Nods to the work of St. Vincent and TUNE-YARDS are evident in their work. “Woman” was “recorded with the intention of being in your face and confident while retaining a melodic core,”says Stewart. “We recorded the drums together on one kit so there would be a cacophony of cymbal and snare hits which really reflect the attitude of the song itself, enabling it to become something new within its own destruction. It’s about navigating through old relationships and feelings while taking care of business and moving on with life.”
OHMME’s self-titled, debut EP will be released on vinyl for the first time with two exclusive songs and digitally reissued with new artwork on June 30th via their own label, Fox Hall Records. The band completed recording their first full-length and are making plans for a spring 2018 release.