Posts Tagged ‘Joyful Noise Recordings’

Chicago duo Ohmme was started by Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham in the summer of 2014, combining their love for lush vocals and song writing with their love of experimentation and sound. Ohmme founders Sima and Macie and their drummer, Matt Carroll, were supposed to hit the road in April opening for Waxahatchee, ahead of the June 5 release of “Fantasize Your Ghost” on Joyful Noise Recordings. Cunningham, 30, and Stewart, 27, are nimble multi-instrumentalists and arresting singers, and they’ve collaborated widely throughout Chicago’s sprawling music communities, playing with artists working in rock, hip-hop, classical, folk, country, jazz, noise, and more. Between them they’ve worked with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Tortoise, Jeff Tweedy, and Twin Peaks.

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In the months since COVID-19 shut down the live-music ecosystem, Ohmme have played several online sets, sometimes sharing a room and sometimes remotely, including as part of Goose Island’s 312unes series and the Dr. Martens Presents: Stay In series

There’s obvious chemistry emanating throughout Ohmme’s music that’s so tangible it can only come from a decades-spanning friendship. Songwriters Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart formed their unbreakable bond performing throughout the fringes of Chicago’s many interlocking communities, collaborating with titans from the city’s indie rock, hip-hop, and improvised worlds. The two formed Ohmme in 2014 as an outlet to explore an unconventional approach to their instruments. “That’s the whole genesis of the band: us walking up to our guitars and saying, ‘how can we make this noisemaker do something different?’” says Cunningham. Their 2016 self-titled debut EP took these experiments live and showcased the band’s vocal interplay that is another key to their songs. The full-length follow up, Parts, found the duo adding a drummer, Matt Carroll, and expanding their sound; Spin wrote: “Ohmme’s aesthetic universe has the cramped intimacy of a small rehearsal space, and they are its masters. Anything they can squeeze inside—swirling baroque vocal melodies, punchy punk power chords, three-minute rockers and dreamlike chamber-pop suites—ends up sounding like Ohmme.” Their latest album, Fantasize Your Ghost, was released in June of 2020 and found the band featured in outlets such as Premier Guitar and Uncut with songs that capture more closely the band’s live show

released October 12th, 2020 Sub Pop Records

Fantasize Your Ghost

Sima Cunnningham and Macie Stewart of Ohmme make average rock bands sound unimaginative and unremarkable—while most bands are happy just rolling a hoop with a stick, Ohmme are reinventing said hoops, but they have far too much humility to ever point out that discrepancy. The band’s new album “Fantasize Your Ghost” follows 2018’s Parts, and it shows off the Chicago duo’s strengths: writing fascinatingly experimental songs with surprising accessibility and braiding their voices to a staggering effect.

Both musicians are classically trained, and their live shows prominently feature their raucous violin and guitar slinging as well as their unique artistic vision. Their forthcoming album opens with the wonderfully puzzling riff of “Flood Your Gut,” followed by the seraphic vocal harmonies and guitar bleed of “Selling Candy,” and right away, you know you’re on a sonically and artistically fruitful path. Another highlight is “3 2 4 3,” where colossal strings meet their astounding vocal might and subtle yet effective guitar lines.

Official Video for “3 2 4 3” by Ohmme off the album ‘Fantasize Your Ghost’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings.

Songwriters Sima Cunnningham and Macie Stewart formed their unbreakable bond performing throughout the fringes of Chicago’s many interlocking communities, collaborating with titans from the city’s indie rock, hip-hop, and improvised worlds. but together, along with drummer Matt Carroll, they’ve stretched the boundaries of what guitar music can do starting with the band’s experimental 2016 self-titled EP and their adventurous debut 2018 LP parts. now their longstanding partnership culminates with the stunning and muscular follow-up fantasize your ghost.

Ohmme formed in 2014 as an outlet for Cunningham and Stewart to explore an unconventional approach to their instruments. “that’s the whole genesis of the band: us walking up to our guitars and saying, ‘how can we make this noisemaker do something different?'” says Cunningham. but as their musical collaboration strengthened, bringing parts and intensive tours with acts like Wilco, Iron & Wine, Twin Peaks, and more, the band’s scope and focus has also broadened. “grinding on tour last year for so long, it can alter your mental state where you have to think about your life in a different way than you would if you’re home. a lot of the songs stemmed from just thinking about all of the possibilities that life could be and could take,” says Stewart. the commanding single “3 2 4 3” tackles the terrifying realization of needing to make a change. their deft scene-setting and the way their disparate voices blend together heightens the song’s inherent anxiety.

These moments of emotional clarity fill fantasize your ghost. written across 2019, early sketches of the album’s tracklist were demoed at Sam Evian’s Flying Cloud studios in upstate New York. “that’s where we really started to see the record come together,” says Cunningham. the sessions were intensely collaborative and open, the product of long, existential conversations between Stewart and Cunningham in the van about their lives and how to channel the anger they were feeling about the state of the world. tracks like the driving opener “Flood Your Gut” underwent several revisions with Ohmme uncovering several new directions the song could go before finishing it. fantasize your ghost was recorded over a six day session in with indie rock journeyman producer Chris Cohen and captures the astounding magnetism and ferocity of their live show. Fantasize your ghost encapsulates the thrilling and sometimes terrifying joy of moving forward even if you don’t know where you’re going. it’s an album that asks necessary questions: when life demands a crossroads, what version of yourself are you going to pursue? what part of yourself will you feed and let flourish and what do you have to let go of? this is a record of strength, of best friends believing in each other. unapologetic and brave, Ohmme are ready to figure it all out together.

Ohmme off their album ‘Fantasize Your Ghost’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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I have listened to the album “Fantasize Your Ghost” a fair few times since I got a hold of it. The word that always pops into my mind is filthy. Sima Cunningham and Macie Steware are classically trained but refuse to be hemmed in by any construct. They are relentlessly ambitious in their music but it always comes across as human and authentic. 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.

I dug their debut, Parts, but this is a lovely leap forward. It’s almost as if that after a year of touring around playing Parts; they were like, We’re pretty good at this music stuff. Let’s kick it up notch.” The second track, Selling Candy, is just stupid good.

“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.

They laid this art-pop tune on top of a scuzzy blues garage tune. They guitars are riffs you’ve probably heard a million times before but they just turn the whole thing on its end. Simply brilliant stuff. 3 2 4 3 builds of an entrancing Cosmic Americana riff that reminds me of Steve Gunn. The second half sees the tune slowly goes on as if you’ve fallen into a hole that goes on forever.

The tracks 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.
Band Members:
Macie Stewart
Sima Cunningham

“Ghost” from Ohmme off their album ‘Fantasize Your Ghost’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings.

Hailed indie-rock duo Ohmme as both a Chicago band to know and an outstanding live act, so you could say we’re pleased to report they’ve announced a new album, the follow-up to their 2018 debut Parts. Fantasize Your Ghost, coming June 5th via Joyful Noise Recordings, is preceded by lead single “3 2 4 3,” which arrives alongside an arresting music video somewhat reminiscent of Jordan Peele’s Us. 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.
Band Members
Macie Stewart
Sima Cunningham

Official Video for “3 2 4 3” by Ohmme off the album ‘Fantasize Your Ghost’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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Lillie West knows that sometimes you have to look back to move forward. West, who records as Lala Lala on SubPop imprint Hardly Art, has, in her music, confronted the kind of trauma that can inspire self-destruction or, hopefully, self-reflection: a home invasion and subsequent paranoia; toxic relationships; battles with addiction; and the deaths of several close friends, to name a few.

On “Siren 042,” the Chicago-based singer-songwriter collaborates with WHY? founder Yoni Wolf to examine the guilt that trickles in after ignoring your better judgment — the particular sensation of seeing problems or hazards on the horizon but proceeding anyway. “There was a siren ringing in my head,” sings West on the chorus. “But I wasn’t listening, so I did what I did.”

“Siren 042” is written by Yoni Wolf of WHY? and Lillie West of Lala Lala.

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Hailing from Cincinnati in the heart of the mid-west, The Ophelias are a collision of musical backgrounds, incorporating everything from garage-rock to opera. What brought them together was a desire to not be the token girl in, “dude-bands”. The resultant album, Almost, is a celebration of not being sidelined, of embracing the limelight and revelling in a freedom from censorship.

Ahead of dates with WHY? and the brilliant Lala Lala, The Ophelia’s have this week shared a brand new video to one of their album’s finest moments, Moon Like Sour Candy. The track is one of the more laid back offerings on the record; muted guitar strums give-way to pulsing synth bass, rich violins and twinkling electronics, all added to the melancholy vocal delivery. There’s a touch of the bedroom pop of Frankie Cosmos or early Waxahatchee. Proof, were it needed, that you don’t need to make a racket to have a huge impact, Moon Like Sour Candy is an understated triumph.

Almost is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings.

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This Cincinnati quartet refer to themselves as “all-girl moth music” and whatever it is, we’ll take it and then some. Following up their stellar first effort, Creature Nature, comes The OpheliasJoyful Noise Recordings debut, Almost, filled with Spencer Peppet’s quaint and comforting vocals and Andrea Gutmann Fuentes amazing violin. Every track is brimming with youthful nostalgia and the presence of Fuentes’ strings — written into just about every track — really sets The Ophelias apart as one of our most delightful recent discoveries

The Ophelias – “Fog” off the album ‘Almost’ on Joyful Noise Recordings.

The Ophelias – “General Electric” off ‘Almost’ out July 13th, 2018 on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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The Ophelia’s formed back in their teenage years, when they grew tired of being the, “token-girl”, in various“dude-bands” in Cincinnati. They decided to see what happens if they took tokenism out of the picture; the result was an intriguing collision of styles, from Opera to Surf-Pop, and the birth of a band free from, “the expected censorship of being a sideperson.”

The Ophelia’s debut record, Almost, is out next month on Joyful Noise, and the quartet have this week shared new single, General Electric. The band’s lyrical content is an intriguing juxtaposition of ideas; part poised, assured confidence, part introspection and insecurity, a dissection of growing-up from songwriters right in the middle of the process. Musically, it’s equally intriguing, you can hear the sheer variety of the influences on show. Starting with a gentle buzz of keys and a warm meandering guitar, the propulsive double-time drums enter, before a melancholy, wistful vocal-line flutters into life, “I want to be just like the girls you like, I want to be what you fantasise.”  As with acts like Adwaith or Neighbour Lady, the influences are familiar, yet hard to pin down, sounds you know and love reinvented into something entirely new and quietly wonderful.

Almost is out July 13th via Joyful Noise. Click HERE for more information on The Ophelias.

No Joy / Sonic Boom (painting by Richard Phillips) pink vinyl

You will know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze/noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R.

While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015. No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” she says. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

What started as a sonic exploration between two friends—passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal—soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise.

“I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP begins with the 11+ minute epic “Obsession,” a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before “Slorb” slinks in, casting its seductive spell. “Triangle Probably” rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine’s silvery vocals. “Teenage Panic” begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then—a full stop—before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.

No Joy / Sonic Boom is an experiment in testing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones gone cosmically right.

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Tracklist:

  1. Obsession (11:09)
  2. Slorb (2:57)
  3. Triangle Probably (3:32)
  4. Teenage Panic (6:20)

 

No Joy / Sonic Boom (painting by Richard Phillips)

No Joy / Sonic Boom is Jasamine White-Gluz and Pete Kember.

You know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze/noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R.

While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015. No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” she says. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

What started as a sonic exploration between two friends—passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal—soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise.

“I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP begins with the 11+ minute epic “Obsession,” a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before “Slorb” slinks in, casting its seductive spell. “Triangle Probably” rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine’s silvery vocals. “Teenage Panic” begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then—a full stop—before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.

No Joy / Sonic Boom is an experiment in testing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones gone cosmically right.

Official music video for “Obsession (Radio Edit)” new song from No Joy / Sonic Boom EP. Out on Joyful Noise Recordings 30th march 2018.

Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies pressed on baby pink inside bottle green vinyl. Instant download of “Obsession” with purchase,