Chicago-based R&B/soul group The O’My’s are beyond excited to share new music with the world. Comprised of Maceo Haymes and Nick Hennessey, the duo’s new album, Tomorrow, serves as their first since their 2015 effort, Keeping the Faith. The years between projects led the two on a self-described “wild goose chase,” but ultimately took them back to learning and evolving on what they do best.
“[We] ended up coming back to Nick and I sitting down with our instruments and just playing [the ideas] out as full songs and going from there,” says Haymes. “I think the major goal was to lay down what these past couple years for us have brought in terms of life, as well as learning and as people.”
Haymes and Hennessey return to plenty of Chicago-bred relationships that have existed for years on Tomorrow. Former The O’My’s members and close friends have their fingerprints all over the project. Nico Segal (formerly Donnie Trumpet), who helps with production on “Baskets,” “Puddles,” and “Special,” went to pre-school with Haymes, and the two learned percussion instruments together.
The first time Hennessey ever played music with Haymes was in Carter Lang’s basement, who adds production on the title track and “Walk Out.” Will Miller, assisting on “Willystyleistic,” grew up with Hennessey and the two went to the same piano teacher. Chance the Rapper features on “Idea,” adding to the repertoire of their collaborations together, which notably includes “The Wonder Years.” The list goes on.
“It’s a collaborative city. Collaborations happen just by being in the room or being at the park or bumping into somebody,” says Haymes. “That’s kind of the nature of the scene in Chicago. Everybody is constantly pushing each other. Everybody is constantly working with each other and teaching one another.”
“We spend the majority of our time making music and living in Chicago,” remarks Hennessey. “That inherently just comes through in [our music]. It’s the community that has grown with us and has helped us grow throughout all these years.”
Altogether, the 11-track, 34-minute album shines as a reflective journey. Opening with “Starship,” some of the first lyrics on the project are, “We just wanna be free/ Let it be emotion,” which is about going with the feeling when first becoming intimate with someone and not worrying about what is wrapped up around it. Later, Haymes inserts a voicemail from his grandmother to conclude “Walk Out,” which serves both as a love letter to music and as a smile-inducing, bouncy ending note to the body of work.
“My grandmother has always taught me the purpose of music outside of just listening to your jam on the radio,” recalls Haymes. “That’s the first person I saw sing in a way that was intimate and powerful and not on any stage.”
Led by singles “Baskets” and “Puddles” (featuring Saba), Tomorrow explores some of life’s strongest emotions in a way that is near impossible to listen to while sitting down. The drop on the back half of “Afraid” demands attention from all ears in the room, regardless of its size. Though Hennessey admits that they are still figuring out how to translate the album to a live audience, given the album’s sound and the group’s past performing history, getting the crowd to join the vibe shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Stream Tomorrow in full, below.