Last year, we helped Montreal's Oh Hi collective introduce themselves to the world with their first official compilation. It was a simple step (basically just a name and existence), but it was the official notice that the group, a loose connection of artists, friends, and frequent collaborators, was now a formal entity. It was also a way to send out the signal to other like-minded folks to reach out and get involved. "It allowed for even more ideas to grow and collaborations to happen," relates David Switchenko of founding Oh Hi band Saxsyndrum.
And now, a year later, we have the second Oh Hi compilation. Another 15 tracks ranging from jangle pop to post-rock bombast, intimate folk strum to synth and strings soundscapes, it's another window into Oh Hi's interconnected explosion of creativity, a beginner's guide to a fertile Montreal micro-scene, and a sonic journey you can take at your desk if you want to.
Some songs, like Slight's shoegaze epic "Origin of Birds," are exclusive to the compilation, some are by groups that have joined since last year (Loon, Best Fern), and some are collaborations and remixes that showcase the collective's connectivity. And if Beyoncé's "Hold Up" didn't destroy the need for more "Maps" covers, this Saxsyndrum & Ohara Hale team-up is an all-time highlight.
"The concept of this years compilation is similar to last years: to collect and highlight the music we've worked on in the last year," says Switchenko. "We hope it gives people a window into what we do and maybe inspires them to come out to a show, or to say hi to one of us on the street."
He elaborates with other things that have sprung out of the collective in the last year:
- We've hosted some great Oh Hi events, some of which have become event series, including a series called '2+2=1' where pairs of musicians who play similar instruments perform improvised sets, and a series called 'Uh Oh' where 4-5 Oh Hi acts and 2-3 invited acts play at a longer festival style event.
- We've put our Oh Hi name behind album releases by individual Oh Hi artists, including the recent Tamara Sandor and Wake Island albums.
Tonight (May 26), Oh Hi will release its second compilation with a show at 185 Van Horne in Montreal with performances by Saxsyndrum, Strangerfamiliar, Bantam Wing and Alexia Avina. Full details here.