The University of Iowa University of Iowa

OHMME brings jams and harmonies to Mission Creek

OHMME rocked Trumpet Blossom’s intimate stage during a series of lowkey Mission Creek Festival Saturday shows. Once the group’s duo, Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, accompanied by drummer Emerson Huntonl, hit the stage, the buzzing energy of the small setting ceased and the crowd instantly zoned in. 

The proceeding live performance easily explained the pre-show excitement, as powerhouse vocals and rocking guitar chords ripped through the café’s stained glass windows. OHMME has steadily made a name for themselves from buzzy collabs like the one with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and the successful, anthemic single “Icon.”

Their established song catalog is already impressive, but OHMME proved to be even better live. The vocal elasticity and intricate harmonization ping pong between Cunningham and Stewart served as an electrifying game of musical pinball. 

The standout song performance of the afternoon was “Fingerprints” from their 2017 debut album. Building up to the chorus, the duo broke into a chorus of alternating wordless vocalizations that climbed to harmonious heights and were flawlessly executed. The vocal feat was so impressive that audience members turned to each other with wide eyes as if to say, “How did they do that?” 

As the dizzying harmonies ebbed and flowed against dynamic guitar rhythms, the song culminated in the final repeated lyric, “I want to be better,” which gradually increased from a whisper to a roar with each repetition. In the crowded lineup of Mission Creek, OHMME made a single song stand out and stick with me days later. 

The duo showed incredible dynamism and range with some songs beginning with hushed instrumentals and isolated, soulful vocals while others fully dove into full, wailing guitar. They basked in the strength of vocal runs as much as they leaned into rocking the stage. OHMME demonstrated standout musical ability in their live set, fully sealing the duo’s exciting future in the indie space as talented musicians and badass rockers.