In the opening moments of Between All Things, soft plucks, and ethereal voices are a welcoming shimmer into this enchanting, all-consuming sonic landscape. OHMA, the duo of Hailey Niswanger and Mia Garcia, uses a warm, organic palette to create music that is simultaneously otherworldly and of this world. Familiar tones swirl into life, anchored by Garcia’s guitar and Niswanger’s host of woodwinds, forming new avenues that spread in every direction. Between All Things sounds like the chance at a new life, an opportunity to build a different way of being.
Lilting melodies drift skyward atop Garcia’s guitar arrangements before returning to the soil on “Worlds Within Worlds.” OHMA rises into the clouds for a better view before diving into the interconnected details below, fusing together an expansive mood and gossamer touch. Even with the aeriform threads throughout, this is music with robust roots. An underlying theme of Between All Things explores how the divine feminine resides in all of us and is a cornerstone for empathy and compassion. This generous, timeless spirit is foundational to this music.
Vocal exercises on the title track are swirling, ethereal, and magnetic. The delicate harmonies hover, bright and ebullient, drifting on arpeggiated guitars and emotive saxophone phrases. Subtle phasing adds surprising textures to Abe Rounds’ effervescent rhythms, but Niswanger’s and Garcia’s voices tie the pieces together. “Have you ever really thought about it?” a computerized voice asks, “The eternal connection between all things.” Shifting higher into “We Are,” impermanence dissipates into flute waves and new vocal melodies. Bubbling rhythms roil beneath a beautiful cascade of dulcet tones.
Special care is paid to the intricacies of each arrangement on Between All Things. Gamelan-infused rhythms guide “In Essense” through patches of melancholy, with Garcia’s guitar progressions becoming a flowing, eternal point on the horizon. Piano and guitar layers blossom in crystalline matrices, an intertwined web of disparate points brought together on “And So It Is.” Points of light fade into the wistful ambient hymnals of closer, “Upon Arrival.” Each step in the album’s sequence is considered and purposeful. OHMA tells a sacred story before sending us back into the waning light. This music emboldens our resolve by immersing us in a world where anything seems possible. Between All Things is tremendous.
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