Before returning to Nashville, the Rockford-bred band played a hometown show and Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted new tracks by Lynn Thompson and Lushh.
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The Outer Vibe has spent nearly three years in Nashville, pared back from a five-piece band to a trio, and written more than 50 new songs – many of them involving collaborations with other artists for the first time ever.
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But one thing hasn’t changed: The West Michigan-bred band still embraces its alt-rock/pop roots and continues to hone its prodigious on-stage talents, something that’s long set The Outer Vibe apart.
Indeed, guitarist Nick Hosford insisted the Music City experience has confirmed for band members that “being genuine and unique is really important” in today’s music scene.
“Now as a trio, it’s just stripped down enough – and trying to also intentionally be a little bolder – that the music is a little more rock/pop,” Hosford suggested.
“We’ve kind of gone back to our rock/pop roots a little more. Some of the fluff on the sides has been trimmed down. There’s a little less keyboard, a little more guitars, and there’s probably more group singing than there’s ever been. We spend a lot of time on vocals.”
The trio – Hosford, singer Sean Zuidgeest and trumpet player Lisa Kacos – demonstrated that Friday morning during this week’s episode of Local Spins on WYCE, performing its most popular tune on Spotify, “Sweet to the Rind,” and a brand new song, “Little Taste,” in stripped-down, acoustic and harmony-laden fashion on the air in Studio X. Watch the video for “Little Taste” and scroll down for the full radio show podcast below and video snippets from the Rockford Brewing performance.
VIDEO: The Outer Vibe, “Little Taste” (Local Spins on WYCE)
The band amped things up even more on Friday night, pumping up a jam-packed, holiday homecoming show at Rockford Brewing in Rockford, showing off its “bolder” three-piece approach with Kacos adding drums to her usual keys-and-trumpet repertoire and Zuidgeest on bass.
Although The Outer Vibe has performed as a trio for about a year – following the departure of bassist Andrew Dornoff and drummer Noah Snyder – Kacos noted the three-member core of the band goes back about 15 years. “It’s always been the three of us making music together,” she said.
The Outer Vibe plans to continue as a trio and already has started working in the studio on new songs via that format, with plans for releasing singles in 2019 and doing more touring, including a return to West Michigan next summer.
Being in Nashville, they said, has led to more songwriting collaborations with other artists, as is the tradition in the country music-driven city.
It’s also given them a new perspective on an industry that can be “a little more cutthroat” and challenging than in Michigan, but also brimming with talent at every turn.
Zuidgeest said it’s “opened our eyes to how things function, how songwriting works and how the Nashville songwriting machine runs. Being in a centralized location, Music City, there’s a huge pool of talent there. … It’s kept us on our toes as far as competition goes.”
This week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which showcases local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on 88.1 FM – also boasted tracks by Lynn Thompson, Lussh and Boy From School as well as a countdown of some of the top local/regional tracks of the year, including Hannah Rose & The GravesTones, LVRS, Earth Radio, Lindsay Lou, Pink Sky, Major Murphy and The War & Treaty.
Check out the podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (12/28/18)
VIDEO: The Outer Vibe at Rockford Brewing (12/28/18)
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