After a few years away, its undeniable that The O’My’s have found a groove in 2019 that has resulted in a renewed push for the purveyors of soul. That spirit produced the follow up to last year’s album, Tomorrow. Building on a legacy of mindful creation, their latest is a perfect continuance from where they’ve been and an assertive step towards where their headed. With over a decade in the game already, Maceo Haymes, Nick Hennessey and the crew of musicians in their periphery are proving a matured assuredness in their latest work that bodes well.
There was a period of three years between 2015 and 2018 that fans largely lost touch with the guys. Buoyed by touring and a journey of self-discovery, the pair reformed the group, buckled back into the front seats and set the car into drive, resulting in Together. That project was a critically-acclaimed offering that showed off both the known ability of the group to create music that doesn’t exist in a vacuum of the internet, instead projecting beyond it.
Above Ground, released just ahead of the group’s foray across the U.S. that kept them busy most of the summer, feels like a welcome breath of fresh air. Whereas Tomorrow was a collection of songs written during turbulence, a series of journal entries bridging the time between, Above Ground is expected to do considerably less explaining for lack of a better word, and it benefits from it.
The songs themselves are well-suited for the top of the summer release they received and offer a more open, free-wheeling aesthetic than we saw on Tomorrow. Singles like “Summer Jam”, “Dont Know Better” and “Strawberry” are as well-suited for a barbecue as it gets. Meanwhile, The O’My’s took an opportunity on this short release to release a song that represents much of the soul they carry with them in the final track, “Luke’s Song”. It’s a beautiful ode to a lost friend, Zack Wicks, who’s passing has had a sustained impact on the group, something evident from start to finish. Haymes’ voice which is always centerstage here is more dynamic than ever, showcasing a true evolution that continues here. But it’s on “Luke’s Song” that the textures he’s capable of truly shine through, and appropriately for the right reasons.
With a strong two-year run going currently, it’s no wonder the guys named the album Above Ground, they’ve been floating on cloud nine since Tomorrow.