The latest in Saddle Creek’s Document Series, Schatze b/w Failure 7” features two new tracks from Ohtis, including a duet with Stef Chura, and was mixed by Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen, St. Vincent). It follows the release of Ohtis' critically acclaimed 2019 debut album Curve of Earth.
The release is led by “Schatze,” a new song that features Saddle Creek’s Stef Chura. A character study of the Selfish Antisocial Male, it is told primarily through the lens of his long put-upon girlfriend - which Chura acts the part of - in a series of complaints about his objectionable behavior. “I’ve always loved Ohtis and Curve of Earth is one of my favorite recent releases to come out,” Chura says of her involvement. “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.”
Though light-hearted and fun in its tone, “Schatze” offers no illusions about the state of affairs: he is wrong, selfish, and unrepentant about it all. “I got the idea for the song on an oceanfront balcony up in Cambria when my wife got annoyed by my neurotic vape addiction crampin’ the vibes,” Sam says. “Most of the rest was written and recorded last year, late at night in a hotel room in Amsterdam.”
The track actually takes its name from a cat belonging to Sam’s friend Gerald, which Sam says is extremely violent and possessive. “He has put Gerald's wife Teri in the hospital, and fucked me up badly more than once because I had refused to admit there was a cat alive whose heart I could not win,” Sam says. “Turns out Schatze is such a cat.”
B-side “Failure” can be seen as the Selfish Antisocial Male in a moment of introspective crisis. He is struck by fear and panic about the consequences of his behaviors and what it means for his future. Whereas in “Schatze” he breezily appeals to his freedom to do as he pleases, in “Failure” his fears indicate that perhaps these behavior patterns do not represent personal freedom but in fact quite the opposite.
“‘Failure’ was written many moons ago after visiting a walk-in clinic for an STD test attended by a ‘Dr. John’ and psyching myself out waiting for the results,” Swinson says. “They eventually came back negative, but not before spawning this insane fucked up stream of consciousness song. I had always stood by the song living up to its title until Adam and Nate dug it back up and added this Bonnaroo-worthy outro to it.”
Offering even further insight into a brutally honest mind, the two new songs are dark, raw, but always tinged with a compelling sense of sardonic wit.
Release Date: February 26th, 2021
1. Schatze (feat. Stef Chura)