Ohtis are excited to announce that they have confirmed a North American tour as direct support for The Murlocs. The dates kick off in Los Angeles on April 9 and conclude onApril 21 in Cleveland, OH. Further, the band will be playing at this year’s SXSW. All dates are listed below.
The tour will come on the heels of the release of Ohtis’ debut album Curve of Earth set for release March 29 via Full Time Hobby (home to White Denim, Timber Timbre, Michael Nau, Katie Von Schleicher etc). To date the band have shared album tracks “Runnin” and “Rehab.”
The beautifully dark country-Americana and vivid lyricism on Curve of Earth is a fitting introduction to songwriter Sam Swinson’s autobiographical journey through indoctrination and addiction; an endlessly inviting confession from his past battles with substance abuse, and the religious demons lingering from his upbringing in a fundamentalist evangelical cult.
Ohtis originally formed when Swinson and co-founder Adam Pressley were sophomores at high school in Normal, Illinois. They self-released their first material on small run CD-Rs while still teenagers, primarily to a local audience. Their partnership has defined Ohtis, accompanied by a revolving cast of local musicians joining the live act over the years, including re-joining mainstay member and multi-instrumentalist Nate Hahn.
The band took a hiatus staring in 2009 as Swinson’s addiction had become life-threatening. Weighing the odds of maintaining a creative partnership in those conditions, Pressley and Hahn decided to distance themselves and the band dissolved. They kept in touch while living in different parts of the country, swapping ideas and songs online, never planning to release them, in equal parts because of their traumatic falling-out, and Sam’s ongoing addiction to heroin.
Redemption eventually came in the form of sobriety for Swinson. After making 9th step amends to both of his re-joining bandmates, they brought Ohtis back to life; unfazed by the 2000 miles that now separate them geographically, with Pressley and Hahn in Detroit and Chicago and Swinson in Los Angeles. Songwriting happened with his bandmates in lengthy stretches, spurred by phone calls, emails, and revisions.
At times unbearably sparse, at others lush, Curve of Earth is a brutal yet alluring creative achievement. Having been through two separate spells in rehab, Sam Swinson’s life has changed utterly, and it’s also prompted an evolution within Ohtis, and the way they approach music. “It’s similar,” he muses. “My life isn’t as crazy, but it’s still pretty crazy. I’m still dealing with a lot of the same issues, with a similar feel.”
“Sam’s beautiful encapsulation of recovery principles among the descriptions of his own struggle and redemption with sobriety in ‘Runnin’ was a major factor drawing me back to the band when they reformed,” Nate explains.
Sam went to a self-made hell, and when he came out the other side he found a support group waiting for him, which had always been there, in Ohtis.
Ohtis on tour
3/8 – 3/17 – SXSW – Austin, TX
4/9 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom *
4/10 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
4/12 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios *
4/13 – Vancouver, BC – The Fox Cabaret *
4/14 – Seattle, WA – Barboza *
4/16 – Bozeman, MT – Filling Station *
4/19 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club *
4/20 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
4/21 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern *
With The Murlocs*