Posts Tagged ‘Sima Cunningham’

With their 2018 debut Parts, Ohmme introduced a combustive art-rock style based on tightly intertwined dual vocals and improvisatory guitars, wringing sing-song catchiness from baroque complexity. On “Fantasize Your Ghost”, the Chicago band further explores this craggy terrain, with detours into noisenik squalls, Krautrock grooves, and chamber-pop delicacy. Core duo Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham (who has worked for the company that produces Pitchfork Music Festival) are most impressive in their sharp-tongued songcraft, whether confronting a distant partner or conjuring up a childhood reverie that juxtaposes hot lava and hot dogs—unsettlingly delectable. 

OHMME presents: “Fantasize Your Ghost” is a special concert film recorded live at Constellation in their hometown, Chicago. Bridging the gap between their frenetic live shows and their carefully crafted studio albums, the film presents their latest full length album in its entirety with the addition of their newest songs “Mine” and “Miasma” The show captures Ohmme with an expanded line-up featuring Nnamdï Ogbonnaya on drums, Ruby Parker and Quinn Tsan on backing vox and V.V. Lightbody on backing vox and flute.

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Co-directed by Jake Saner and Lauren Pratt with set design by Delaney Stewart, sound by Dorian Gehring, movement by Ashley Robicheaux, and co-produced with Constellation, the film pulls you in close with the band, enveloping you in their music and their dreams.

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.

Released June 5th, 2020

OHMME is Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart
All songs written and performed by OHMME
All drums and percussion performed by Matt Carroll

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.

Surprise! We’re very excited to announce a special split 7” with our friends The Aubreys out TODAY exclusively on Bandcamp. Our side has 2 new songs: “Eagle Eye” and “We Human”. Yuuuge thanks to the Aubreys for asking us to make this sweet thing with them!
Drums by the man, the myth, the legend Eric Slick. Recorded by Dorian Gehring. Limited number of vinyl available now.

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Released November 16th, 2020

Written + performed by OHMME
Drums by Eric Slick

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

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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.