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The Mothlight & Asheville FM Presents...
at The Mothlight
Thursday, February 27th
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm
For over a decade, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack have collaborated under the moniker Wye Oak, a band known for “forging an audacious creative path” (NPR Music). Their partnership, long imbued with a sense of ambition and restlessness, has transcended genre, growing and shifting over the course of five critically acclaimed full-length records, including last year’s The Louder I Call, The Faster it Runs which The New York Times called “the sound of a band simultaneously delving deeper into its music and opening it up”. Those paying close attention to the duo will also have noticed a list of additional aliases, collaborations, and experimentations that have fallen outside of the parameters of the project for which they are best known.
The past few years have been an especially fruitful period for the duo outside of Wye Oak- including releases from their solo projects, Wasner’s, Flock of Dimes and Stack’s, Joyero, touring as members of Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso and Lambchop, as well as collaborating as producers, composers and multi-instrumentalists with everyone from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Metropolis Ensemble, to Deerhoof, Helado Negro and Madeline Kenney. Wasner and Stack have been intrinsically woven into the fabric of the progressive musical landscape of the past decade.
Along the way, the duo have prioritized setting aside time to rediscover why their collaboration has been an integral part of their creative expression for close to fifteen years. With Wasner and Stack living in the same city, their adopted home of Durham, NC, for the first time since 2012, they have begun to chart a new path. Suddenly free to re-examine and rework the pre-existing confines of their partnership, the duo returned to the studio in the summer of 2019. The result is the most generous and daring material of their career. The first look into this new music is the searing single, “Fortune,” a bombastic excavation of change and loss, mourning and resilience. “Fortune” is a high water-mark in an already celebrated catalog—indicative of the kinetic propulsion with which Wasner and Stack push their art forward.
In addition to releasing new music, the band is mounting their most ambitious tour yet. The tour, JOIN, will feature Wasner, Stack and a newly expanded live band performing music from all of their various projects- Wye Oak Flock of Dimes, Joyero and beyond. These performances will be rare, featuring new material, re-imaginings of songs from deep in their catalog, and hidden gems spanning their parallel creative work with the primary intention to present what feels most significant in the moment. At almost fifteen years in, Wye Oak continue to search, to ask questions, to experiment and to take the risks that make them one of the most vital creative collectives of their generation.
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.
701 Haywood Rd
Asheville, NC, 28806