Sound & Vision with Macie Stewart

Stepping into the wilderness of solo works can often be a daunting task for a musician, and perhaps even more so when they’ve found such great acclaim for their band work. Yet for Macie Stewart, one half of Chicago band, Ohmme, the pathway into their individual works could not feel more natural.

Embracing the loneliness that comes with such a project, Stewart channels the intimacy of such solitude and, in doing so, has created a record that occupies a whole world of its own. Full of breathing space and room to explore, the at times haunting harmonies coupled with the melancholic sway of Stewart’s gentle melodies creates an album that while on the whole is a far more calming experience than previous works remains just as vibrant.

Fresh off the back of her debut release Mouth Full Of Glass, we caught up with the Orindal signed songwriter to see how she finds comfort in the world of creation. Here are her Sound & Vision picks:

Urban Driftwood – Yasmin Williams

Throughout the pandemic and quarantine I started listening to a lot more instrumental music because it brought me a lot of comfort and space for my brain to roam within it. Instrumental and/or improvised music is usually something that revolves around a live experience for me, so there was so much to dive into. This particular record is so beautiful- and feels like the soundtrack to a roadtrip through the mountains. In the dead of Jan/Feb winter 2021 I asked Twitter what records feel like a warm hug, and I think this one is the ultimate warm hug. The tone of the recordings are very nostalgic to me- and I have such a soft spot for that.

Kwaidan – Meitei

This record is a wonderful mix of ambient music and hiphop, and the tone of everything is so good. I don’t know much about this artist, but he is a producer from Hiroshima, Japan. This record is perfect for long strolls around the city (which I did a lot of this past year).

“The Alien” from the Annihilation soundtrack

I got really lucky and was asked to compose a movie score this past year with my friend Quinn Tsan- we did a lot of research and listening in the months leading up to the actual composition. In that process I rediscovered the soundtrack to the movie Annihlation, and was so excited to dive in to it on a deeper level. There are such great subtleties and textural elements that feel unique to that movie, and the climax to the Alien/Annihlation sequence is one of the coolest pieces of music I’ve heard in a while. I get chills every time. So many elements feel at once familiar and totally alien, and I love the usage of the voice as a melding texture with the synthesizers. It was also very exciting to me that the music was composed by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow (from Portishead) because Portishead was one of my first favorite bands. I listened to this on a late night drive with my friend Dorian and it was VERY SCARY, but also one of those really special cinematic car moments- so maybe try it sometime.

Favourite Film: Daisies

My friend Lia Kohl recommended this film to me. Its an old Czech film from the 1960s about two young women who decide to ‘be bad’ because the world has gone bad. Its such a hilarious watch that makes fun at the excess of the bourgeoisie through being as over the top as they can. One of my favorite scenes is one where the two of them sneak their way into a very wealthy person’s dinner party. While the guests are away they stick their hands in all the food in this incredibly satisfying way, and sample one of everything at the table. Its essentially my personal dinner party fantasies fulfilled. The leads are just so charming and mesmerizing, everythinf is so weird and wonderful, its hard to not fall in love with this film.

Favourite Book: Rebecca Solnit -A Field Guide to Getting Lost

I was lent this book by someone a while ago at a very tender time- and ended up falling in love with it and buying my own copy. Its a beautiful series of essays on the process of ‘being lost’ and how those liminal spaces are an important place for discovery and newness. I think this book came to me at a special moment, and brought (still brings) me a lot of comfort while I was experiencing a lot of those floaty and uncertain moments in life. Its also a great book to pick up and read for a few minutes at a time since it is not a long-form narrative. There are some really beautiful sections called The Blue of Longing that really moved me. Sharing books is one of my favorite ways to connect, so I am always down to lend this one out whenever the moment calls for it.

A song that is special to me: Miami – Cate Le Bon

This song was a revelation to me – I’ve been really fascinated by the usage of space in music, and this song uses it so well. Taken from her album, Reward, it feels so carefully constructed, but never expected. It brings me a sense of excitement for the future when I listen to it- I really love everything Cate Le Bon does.

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