Emily Afton, Krishan Abeyatunge
155 Fell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
This event is all ages
Already celebrated as the “Heart of Chicago’s Music Community” (Noisey) by both fans and tastemakers alike, OHMME (aka the duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart) amalgamate the aggressive and the meditative on their bold debut full-length album, Parts.
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.
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.
Enlisting fellow Chicago cohorts Doug McCombs (Tortoise), Ken Vandermark and cellist Tomeka Reid, OHMME recorded and self-produced Parts from Cunningham’s Logan Square home studio, Fox Hall. With Parts, OHMME "wanted to capture a moment in time instead of something perfect.” The results are thrilling: from the pure pop opening track “Icon” to the candied sludge of "Peach" to the skipping rhythms of "Parts" and the dusky closer "Walk Me," Parts draws from influences as diverse as Kate Bush and Brian Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets to jazz and improvisational music, making for an electric debut listening experience.
This 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. With Parts, OHMME manage to organically marry a breadth of divergent styles into an album that is cohesive, daring, and distinctly their own.
Emily Afton’s voice is transporting. Smokey, powerful, and emotive, Emily delivers her soul to you in the form of nostalgic indie-pop songs - with ribbons of folk and electronica interwoven. Solo or with her band, Afton aims to snatch your heart with her live performance playing haunting vocal-driven narratives in the style of Fiona Apple followed by dark synths, then uptempo dance tracks that can turn an aloof audience into a dancing crowd. Last fall one of her performances did just this for Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins, who promptly asked her to join their U.S. tour as the opening band. An inspired Afton quickly returned home to finish her debut full-length album.
ARCHETYPE [album], released in September 2016, and has been called an indie-pop explosion from "an artist who is clearly on an ascent" (Pure Volume). The episodic debut LP, co-produced by David Earl and Lila Rose reveals a new edge and depth to the once sweet singer-songwriter's music. ARCHETYPE laces together stories of an artist discovering both the sonic and emotional worlds and ghosts that exist within us all.
Leader of Should We Run fronts a new band!