Last night, at the Philadelphia Museum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), Madalean Gauze and Ohmme took the stage to perform for a small crowd in a very intimate setting.
Madalean Gauze is a quasi-punk all girl band who have a very abrasive but honest and unique sound. The underlying message of their songs is about dismissing things that they should care about or be embarrassed about, such as fashion or being slut-shamed. The music itself is minimalist and not reliant on technique or complex chord progressions, nor is the band very tight, except for the bass player who is extremely solid and kept each song intact whereas otherwise it may have collapsed. There is not much singing that goes on, but rather yelling and screaming. This all ties back to the existentialist ideology of the band, that they do not have to think, act, or even perform how people want them to.
Ohmme is an indie duo from Chicago composed of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. They have recorded and performed with a live band in other shows, however they are touring as just the two of them currently. Perhaps the best element of their performance is how perfect their harmonies are, as well as how their two voices interact so well with each other. There is perfect balance in the sense that neither is truly the lead singer; they mostly sing together, combining their respective vocal ranges to form one very full sounding vocal. During certain songs, such as “Furniture,” they pull off very quick call and response eighth note vocals that come together to create an incredible melody. The dynamics of the show, even without a drummer, were also incredible. They could pull off a chorus-drenched guitar soundscape just as well as a hard hitting noise rock interlude. To further supplement their sound, Stewart sometimes used a bass amp, mimicking the role of a bass player, to occupy the low end while Cunningham was also able to fill up their sound by switching to a 12 string. In addition, Stewart also played the violin, which sounded fresh in the context of the set. Ohmme certainly have cultivated and mastered their own sound, drawing from a wide array of influences from the psychedelic era of the Beatles to the B-52s. Having released an EP in 2017 and their debut LP “Parts” last year, they are certainly an artist on the rise.