Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.
Daytrotter, 324 Brady Street, Davenport IA
Praised by the Chicago Tribune for their “freewheeling, curious, and fun spit” and their “perfectly harmonized vocals,” the alternative-rock musicians of OHMME headline a Daytrotter concert on May 18 in advance of their forthcoming album debut and in support of their self-titled EP, a recording that Blurt magazine lauded for its “odd, intriguing balance between pretty melody and confrontation.”
Composed of Chicago-based musicians Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, OHMME originated earlier this decade after Cunningham saw Stewart perform in a stage production of Little Shop of Horrors, with Stewart already a fan of Cunningham's based on the latter's performances with a high-school rock band. Both 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 age 15, while Stewart began learning piano and violin at age three and went on to become a founding member of the ensembles Kids These Days and Marrow. Their shared interest in Chicago's improvisational music scene and mutual attraction to chaos and harmony in music led them to create OHMME – its name a play on both the unit of electrical resistance (“ohm”) and the French term for man (“homme”).
Known on the Windy City's rock scene for blending flawless harmonies with a gnarled guitar backbone, the duo veers toward 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, as music critics have noted, is at once familiar yet beautifully unconventional, with EarBuddy.net writing, “Their intermingling harmonies delicately come together with songs that rock and some that merely strum along with an enchanting mellowness.” ThirdCoastReview.com, meanwhile, called OHMME “an amazing band” that delivers an “experimental juxtaposition of serene vocals with breathtaking clashes of distortion.”
OHMME performs its 8 p.m. concert on May 18 with opening sets by Subatlantic, Honeycreeper, and Haunter, tickets are $10, and more information on the night is available by visiting Daytrotter.com.