Band to Watch: Oui Si Yes
I often wonder about Cincinnati’s local music scene and how hard it must be for a band to be from here. From the lack of a viable alternative radio station to Cincinnati’s prevailing backward-thinking conservative suburbanite culture, it can’t be easy to get noticed. A music scene begins when you have a city that embraces and encourages new ideas to flourish. But I see signs of hope. The rebirth of Over the Rhine into a myriad of progressive restaurants along with the opening of stellar indie music venue The MOTR pub and recent groundbreaking of the Streetcar Project are taking a neighborhood that had race riots in the late 90’s and turning it into the city’s artistic epicenter. The success of mainstream indie music acts at MidPoint Music Festival has led to a weekly summer concert series and even the launching of a music festival called Bunbury this July. So change is happening, and change is good. Lost in that last little rant of mine is that there are plenty of great local acts already creating this new scene and, hopefully, this new found growth and interest in alternative music will get them to a bigger stage with more listeners.
Oui Si Yes are an 8-piece band (8!) and the latest Cincinnati act to catch my eye. Consisting of multiple guitars, a horn section, and plenty of percussion, the band plays a highly accessible blend of alternative indie pop. The instant comparison to Broken Social Scene is inevitable with the sheer amount of bodies on stage, and it’s not unwarranted musically either. Their sound is a fun mix of poppy hooks and jam out experimentation that shows up live with a “heart on the sleeve” performance quality. There’s a lot going on with multiple layers inside each song, but this complexity doesn’t prove too large, and adds together to form a feeling of rich nostalgia. They’ll be your favorite band who you think you’ve already heard.
Below you can check out a live performance of the song “Danny Gavin” from the band’s set this past weekend at the Avenue Lounge in Covington, KY. Full of energy and bliss, it features a boisterous chorus led by the brass section and some slick guitar in the break down. Share the good vibes friends.
Written by Greg Dahman