Ohtis will release their debut album Curve of Earth on March 29 via Full Time Hobby(home to White Denim, Timber Timbre, Michael Nau, Katie Von Schleicher etc). Today they share the LP’s “Pervert Blood” which highlights the band’s ability to tell a hard, dark story over Americana guitars.


Of the single Ohtis’ Sam Swinson notes, “After a very unpleasant encounter with a drug dealer, I left his house with a small bag of coke hoping it might be enough to stroke out and overdose. It was late, the sun was coming up but the sky was cloudy and rainy off and on. I took what I had to some woods by a lake on the edge of town and fixed up a shot, but I spilled too much water in the cap and it was too weak to overdose. So I drove back to my friend Zack’s parent’s house in Bloomington, IL who were letting me live in their basement.

I laid in the dark room with no windows and wondered why I was such a piece of shit. I figured my ancestors must’ve been perverts and I got the gene. I thought I’d heard a rumor once that my grandpa killed a litter of puppies because he couldn’t afford to feed them, so he just put them in a bag and threw it in the burn barrel. I really hope that’s not true, but I tried to imagine what kind of fucked up shit they’d done that I inherited the curse for.

The kind of shame I was feeling was life threatening, but I went into the bathroom where the acoustics are good and started singing. I was crying so much my whole face was wet and my throat felt hot. I was still pretty high.

I wrote it then and sang into the handheld recorder my little sister’s boyfriend Michael had given me. For many years he was very supportive of our music, but he died of addiction last year. I remember him often and think of the millions of other people who died heroically in a losing battle, so I don’t have to. Eventually Adam and Nate tracked over that recording and we used it on the album, which explains the poor sound quality of the vocals and guitar.

It was a confession to a god I knew wouldn’t save me. On the contrary, He has a record of incinerating whole wicked cities and will turn you into a pillar of salt just for peeking back to see what happened. I cursed Him to see what would happen. Nothing did. I knew for sure I was mentally ill.

That would serve me well later when I started going to meetings, because a large part of recovery is being able to admit you are insane before coming to believe you can be restored to sanity. I was on a suicidal fast track, so the need for that admission was glaringly obvious. It’s harder for others, and society as a whole, who are facilitating a slow death, who might benefit from some version of that as well.”

In support of Curve of Earth Ohtis will be playing at SXSW and following that will hit the road for a North American tour as direct support for The Murlocs. The dates kick off inLos Angeles on April 9 and conclude on April 21 in Cleveland, OH. All dates including UK are listed below.

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.

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.

Curve Of Earth tracklisting

1. Pervert Blood

2. Runnin

3. Little Sister

4. Rehab

5. Black Blood

6. Diggin

7. Junkie Heaven

8. Serenity Prayer

Ohtis on tour

3/12 – SXSW – KVRX Showcase @ Love Goat – 4.40pm

3/13 – SXSW – Desert Daze Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 7pm

3/14 – SXSW – Levitation Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 7pm

3/15 – SXSW – Panache Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 8.30pm

3/16 – Springfield, MO – Golden Girl Rum Club +

3/17 – Bloomington, IL – Night Shop

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 *

5/9-10 – Brighton, UK – The Great Escape

5/11 – Leeds, UK – Gold Sounds Festival @ Brudnel Social Club

5/15 – London, UK – The Lexington

5/24 – Manchester, UK – Dot To Dot Festival

5/25 – Bristol, UK – Dot To Dot Festival

5/26 – Nottingham, UK – Dot To Dot Festival

8/29 – 9/1 – Salisbury, UK – End of the Road Festival

* = with The Murlocs

+ = with Paul Cherry

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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