Experimental but in the fun way indie rock from Chicago duo OHMEE. As both Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart are classically trained pianists they decided to leave the keys behind for Parts and focus on the humble guitar to constrain themselves into making something interesting. Best here though is the pair's constant vocal harmonising, allowing the different qualities of their voices to play off each other.
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Experimental goofballs Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart wanted to make a record of wrecked fun, the kind you trust to take you somewhere far and away from the venn diagram of your daily routine. Ditching their expertise as pianists, they opted for guitars, playing them in the spirit of a garage rock gone mad with power. ‘Parts’ is a massive and aspirational record: it sees the duo creating a record with tenderness, aggression and everything in between.
It’s blown out, for a little while, but the title track is the first moment they start grabbing me proper: a low-key tune, its palm-muted guitars and pastoral twang conjure up the image of a car driving down a motorway of noxious nighttime clouds, a tune that sounds lonely, but also accompanied -- perhaps it’s no surprise, considering Cunningham and Stewart spend the song marrying their voices, never fretting as long as a harmony keeps them on the same path. The song doesn’t so much climax as it dovetails, losing its pace and turning off the road.
Their approach to playing guitars is kinda stunning: a little bit psychedelic, it’s also direct and luminous, tunes like “Water” juxtaposing the crunchy hooks of Tame Impala with the kind of fragmented bluster tUnE-yArDs used to make. The percussion clatters and steamrolls, daring to demolish the song it’s serving, but Ohmne’s experimentation stays supporting cast to their gleefully obnoxious star hooks. By opting for guitar, they essentially opt to never style out their record: instead of something definitive, the duo are constantly reinventing their best approach, with “Liquor Cabinet” going for nylon-string strums and watery, pedal-effected chords. The strings and plucks of “Sentient Beings” make for a kind of abstracted barroom ditty, somewhere between the folklore of This Is the Kit and the rainy moodiness of Bill Callahan. The aesthetics are on rotation; the record shines because it's impractical as hell. You gotta listen to it.
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- Parts by OHMME
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