Illinois trio Ohtis released one of the most sobering albums of recent years with Curve of the Earth, and while we wait for them to reveal plans for a follow-up, they have announced that they are releasing the next single in Saddle Creek’s ongoing ‘Document’ series. The new 7″ “Schatze” b/w “Failure” comes out on February 26, but they have made the A-side available on streaming platforms today.
“Schatze” finds Ohtis teaming up with Detroit DIY artist Stef Chura, who is also a big fan of the band. On recording the song together, she says:
“I’ve always loved Ohtis and Curve of Earth is one of my favorite recent releases to come out. Sam is a rare songwriter. He speaks from an honest and dark place with a sincerity that I think is refreshing and deeply relatable. Adam is an old friend who was living down the street from me in Detroit at the time this collaboration came to be tossed around. I think someone on my Instagram kept asking me about doing a song with them… So I made a poll as a joke which led to the inevitable. When they showed me the song and the call and response format I was instantly in love with it.”
On “Schatze”, Ohtis swing away from their country-tinged sound into a garage-rock burner where their guest fits in naturally. Not only does Chura get to duet with Sam Swinson, but she gets to enter a character as she plays the female part of an unhealthy pairing, injecting a few lively “fuck you very much sir”s between his claims of greatness and importance, before getting to go off on her own acerbic verse – “grow the fuck up, dude / what the fuck?” Although the words may be full of barbs back and forth, “Schatze”‘s chug is illuminated by pinwheeling electronics that give it a glimmering beauty, like silvery lights shining on the strangely beautiful verbal duel between these two singers.
The pair’s fiery interchange is captured in the excellent lyric video, which shows us Chura’s phone screen as she exchanges lines in text message form. Check it out below.
Ohtis’ new single “Schatze” b/w “Failure” is out on February 24 via Saddle Creek’s ‘Document’ series (pre-order).