Sound Advice: Cincinnati's Fairmount Girls Have Been Integral to the Queen City's Music Scene for Over Two Decades

Fairmount Girls play Northside Tavern on Dec. 16.

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click to enlarge Cincinnati's Fairmount Girls - Photo: David Garza
Photo: David Garza
Cincinnati's Fairmount Girls

Editor's note: This story is featured in the Dec. 14 print edition of CityBeat.

If you’re searching for the ultimate punk-rock experience, look no further than the Fairmount Girls. This Cincinnati-based, all-girl band shines with quirky, melodic, noise guitar hooks, trade-off vocal harmonies and signature Farfisa organ drones. Accompanied by eye-catching props, dress themes and even cupcakes, it all guarantees an epic show.

Since 1996, Fairmount Girls (Diana Vakharia on bass, Melissa Fairmount on organ, Jane Lane on guitar, Dana Hamblen on drums, joined occasionally by Chris Schadler on guitar) have been at the center of Cincinnati’s indie music scene, playing countless shows throughout the Queen City and beyond. Drawing inspiration from artists like the Breeders, Stereolab, Scrawl and Wolverton Brothers, Fairmount Girls have spent over a decade crafting and honing a truly unique sound and persona all their own.

Fairmount Girls recorded an album called Carnival on the Inside with John Hoffman at The Lodge KY in Dayton, Kentucky just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and will soon be releasing it on vinyl. The band is working on a new album with Todd Utley, expected to be released sometime in 2023.

Shows in Cincinnati are planned throughout the winter months as well as appearances out of state. “We’d love to do some out of town shows next year.” Hamblen tells CityBeat. “We’re big in Hamtramck, Detroit! Ha Ha!”

From headlining their own shows to opening for the likes of Jack White and Guided by Voices, Fairmount Girls – through dedication, and years spent creating a stunning catalog of punk masterpieces – have deservedly earned the title of Local Rock Royalty.

Fairmount Girls play Northside Tavern on Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Plush Machine also is on the bill. Info: northsidetav.com


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