When a band develops a signature sound, it’s common for them to continue pumping out tracks that sound rather similar. While having a fluid sound can help build a group’s image, it can also pidgeonhole musicians and be to their detriment.
But Montreal’s neo-soul trio The OM Sound has an inventive way of avoiding that trap — they change styles, often within a song, and they’re bringing their multi-faceted groove to Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 7.
“It’s an ermergence of hip hop, jazz, and soul,” says Marina Durham of The OM Sound. “We like to switch up styles.”
Utilizing hip hop verses, loop pedals, and bold harmonies to enliven their performance, the group transitions seamlessly from sound to sound.
“Even within a track we tend to do whatever feels right,” says Orion Miller. “Our songs are highly organized and are able to go in any particular way for a venue.”
And to help push their unique, larger-than-life presence, each member of The OM Sound performs as a multi-instrumentalist, changing instruments and adapting with each new song.
“We try to utilize ourselves to make the biggest sound,” Durham says. “We’re always doing a lot of things to make a really full sound.”
Varoujan Mardirossian, who often acts as the bands percussionist, agrees.
“I think typically the reaction is, “Oh. I didn’t expect you to sound so big,” Mardirossian says. “We try to fill the space despite being only three people.”
The trio has played together for nearly three years, and enjoys bringing their unique sound on the road.
“It’s basically what we do every summer,” Miller says of their two-and-a-half month tour. “When you play for a living, you have to play as much as possible.”
While on their 25-stop tour that reaches from Montreal to Nanaimo, the trio is living out of a van.
“Maybe we need to get a bigger van,” Durham jokes
But they love being on the road, they all say.
“We’ve definitely seen more of Canada touring than any other way,” Miller says.
Through their world touring, The OM Sound has drawn inspiration for their socially, environmentally, and spiritually conscious message that they convey through their music.
And their stop in Vernon will be a special one, as Durham and Miller are both originally from Vernon and are looking forward to playing in their hometown.
“It is sweet because before we left there were zero places to play,” Durham says, adding that when she lived here the majority of shows were in people’s basements.
Having intmimate venues allows bands like The OM Sound that are primarily supported by grassroots movements opporunity to grow and gain traction across the country, Mardirossian says.
When The OM Sound returns to Montreal in the fall, they will be returning to the studio to work on their next release.
“We’re happy with what we’ve put out, but we’re excited to get back in the studio,” Mardirossian says.
“Montreal is like our hibernate and write area,” he says.
The trio is content with what they have been able to accomplish in their nearly three years together.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Miller says. “This is what we love to do.”
The OM Sound plays Gallery Vertigo July 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $12 presale at Spinners Sound Centre.