Chicago Singles Club

November 2013

Oshwa

Oshwa is an ordinary experimental rock band who traveled back in time from a not-too-distant, possibly utopian future to play music for those of us stuck here in the present. I think. At least, that’s the best explanation I can come up with for how they can make music that deftly walks the line between comfortingly familiar and wildly, bizarrely inventive.

Their music is heavily melody-driven - singers/guitarists Alicia Walter and Michael Mac alternate singing lead while the other occasionally provides harmony or contrapuntal accompaniment. Each member is an enormously talented instrumentalist; Alicia and Michael’s guitar riffs are intricately intertwined with each other and Matthew Noonan’s lyrical bass lines, while Jordan Tate’s drumming ranges from precise, nuanced grooves to heavy-hitting, fill-oriented wildness.

Structurally, the songs seem classical in the sense that they will start with the statement of a strong melody and then bring it back throughout the song in a variety of different contexts. You might hear a vocal phrase accompanied by simple guitar chords, brought back later bolstered by a raucous drum beat and dueling guitar riffs, then repeated once again over a languid bass line played with a slide.

Check it out now before they decide to return to the future!

Oshwa is

Alicia Walter
Vocals, Guitar
Michael Mac
Vocals, Guitar
Matthew Noonan
Bass
Jordan Tate
Drums

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Contributors
  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton
  • Video Iris Lin
  • Video Cassie Balynas
  • Photos Kerri Hacker
  • Production Assistant Ron DeMay
  • Production Assistant Jordan Morrell