What happens when whiz kids turn their sights onto straight-ahead indie rock? “Fingerprints,” the new single by Ohmme, provides one answer. A deft juggling act of unfussy melody, nimble vocals, and fluid shifts of tempo and feel, the tune features a cool trick: a tumbling vocal figure, alternated rapidly between Ohmmists Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, that punctuates a turn-it-up chorus. “Fingerprints” sounds simple but reveals smarts that Ohmme can barely contain within the indie rock format.
There’s more where this came from on Ohmme’s self-titled EP, which sees expanded vinyl release today. “Woman” comes off loose as a goose, a campfire song with another weird-ass wordless vocal of a chorus plus a tasty guitar frenzy. The EP covers a wide emotional and musical range, going dark and intimate one minute then gleeful and rockin’ out the next — sometimes in the span of a single song. Its constant is the audible joy that Cunningham and Stewart, young veterans of several Chicago music scenes (e.g., see here), display in singing and playing together. Ohmme is a band to savor now and watch for future greatness.
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.