Here to improve your day at least a little bit is Ohmme, a Chicago based duo that revel in the experimental. The multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart formed the band in 2014 as an experiment. Four years and a plethora of live shows later, they’ve dropped their debut album, ‘Parts’. It’s imaginative, inviting and, by our usual standards here, only a little bit weird.
Luring you into this transfixing record is the unpredictability of the vocals. The pair harmonise their voices to perfection, treating your ears to a soothing cuddle. They also blend brilliantly with their surroundings, working exquisitely with the eager guitar in ‘Icon’.
Many songs mystify with their ethereal beauty, like the alluring and transformative ‘Grandmother’. The track gently transports you to a dimension where Ohmme are the rulers, and you’ll be completely OK with it. The enchantment continues with the title track, as the airiness leaves you feeling light as a feather. Here, the lyrics strike a balance between reality and the surreal: “We were hot for a minute like two boiled eggs, and at times I want to crush the ceiling with my legs”.
By this point, you’re feeling pretty comfortable. However, this is snatched away by the sudden shift in composition in ‘Water’, leading both the track and album into unknown territory that feels exciting, if a little unnerving. It is total mishmash of sounds, showcasing the experimental tendencies of the duo. The captivating eerie vocals add a very odd cherry on top of the strangest cake, but somehow it all works.
‘Peach’ grabs your senses and refuses to let go. Demanding and direct, the song is strong when it decides to be. It has full control and won’t let you tame or mollycoddle it. By far the heaviest track on the record, popping up almost unexpectedly but is fully necessary to give the album a change in texture.
The delicateness returns for ‘Left Handed’; it’s a quaint song that is just like a palm tree softly swaying on another planet. But somehow it is bold and adventurous at the same time, as through there is a rabid alien living in said palm tree. It just goes to show that no matter how relaxing much of their music is, you can never let your guard down when Ohmme are concerned.