The project of Kalamazoo- and Midland-based musician Jason Singer, Michigander has its sights set on a busy and productive 2017 with shows, festivals and likely a new EP. (Story, video, podcast)
THE ARTIST: Michigander
THE MUSIC: Lyric-driven and lush indie-rock
WHERE YOU CAN SEE MICHIGANDER: 8 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 25) at SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids with Elroy Meltzer; 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo with All is Well, Fifth & Main and Seth Beck; Feb. 16 at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, opening for Twin Peaks
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Big and anthemic. And beautifully haunting.
When Michigan singer and guitarist Jason Singer set out to create “the next American rock ‘n’ roll band” a few years ago, it was about fashioning “really great songs.”
“I just want to take my time and make it great,” Singer says of the first EP he hopes to release as Michigander, a project he formed with several Michigan musicians and an “incredible team” of artists.
“I think West Michigan – and Michigan in general – has a ton of great bands, lots of really hip bands. I don’t feel cool enough to be in a band, so maybe, we stand out because we are just normal dudes. But I also think we stand out because our songs are big and anthemic. You don’t see a lot of that anymore.”
So far, Michigander has managed to turn heads with two compelling singles, “Nineties” and “Mexico,” drawing attention from fans and other musicians, and landing the group an opening slot for Chicago indie-rock/pop band Twin Peaks at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Feb. 16.
“In one sense, it’s a solo project, but at the same time, (Michigander) wouldn’t have had the momentum it’s had without the incredible team and band that’s heavily involved in it,” says Singer, who plays solo Wednesday night in Grand Rapids as part of the Local Spins Wednesdays series at SpeakEZ Lounge. Indie-folk/rock duo Elroy Meltzer will open the 8 p.m. show.
The full-band Michigander features Kyle Quisenberry on guitar, Sean Quisenberry on bass, Jared March on keyboards and horns, and Aaron Senor and Bryson Hottop on drums. Others on the team pitch in for design work, videos and photos.
Singer stopped by the studios of News Talk 1340 AM (WJRW) in Grand Rapids for this week’s edition of Local Spins Live, performing a song on the air and talking about his musical plans. Watch a video here and listen to the podcast below.
VIDEO: Michigander, “Alice” (Local Spins Live)
A native of Midland, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist first started performing at church, after being drawn to the guitar and piano while growing up.
“I was playing with adults and I had to get good to keep up,” recalls Singer, who moved to Kalamazoo in 2014 and recently moved back to Midland. “I didn’t play sports in school. I was always in the band room annoying my band teacher by playing Oasis and Coldplay songs on the piano.”
Singer, who’s played in the past with Rival Summers and Mike Mains, says the coming year shapes up as an important one for Michigander. Eventually, he’d like to land a spot as a supporting act for a national tour.
“I’m hoping to put out some more singles and an EP. … 2017 is going to be a great year. Some really cool things are happening that I can’t wait to announce, including some festivals and such,” he says, noting he likes the singles format for releasing his music to fans because it allows the songs to “have a life of their own.”
“I want to be one the next American rock ‘n’ roll bands – not the coke-taking, leather pants-wearing kind of rock band. But just a really great band with really great songs.”
Learn more about Michigander and listen to songs at michiganderband.com.
PODCAST: Local Spins Live with Michigander
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC