Once in a while, small towns can still birth big talent. Such is the story of Jason Singer, who began his career in 2014 in a small town in Michigan, and taking inspiration from his roots by calling his outfit Michigander. After achieving viral success with early singles, his sound and musical ambition have only grown and are on full display on his latest EP Everything Will Be Ok Eventually. Though the six songs on this album sprout from vulnerable places, they are ultimately uplifting, utilizing big hooks and aspirational choruses to take his sound to the next level.
Opener “Better” is a thriving and driving synth pop rock search for positivity in a bleak world (“Life might be good, but I wish that it could be better”). Though stemming from a place of loneliness, it eventually finds a light at the end of the tunnel (“you’re gonna make it through”). There are similar mixed feelings on “Let Down”. As piano and electric guitars accompany the thumping drums, Singer belts “I’ve got high hopes, but they let me down”, a sentiment any dreamer living in the real world has felt.
The EP also has a clear romantic streak, with the pretty yet melancholy “Saturday” finding Singer wearing his heart on his sleeve (“It’s all downhill from here the minute you walk away”). Though the instrumentation begins delicately, with crisp acoustic guitars and fleeting piano chords, it builds into an emotional rocker ready for arenas. Things stay in the intimate space for “Headlights”, an airy, piano pop piece that shows off Singer’s skill with complex arrangements and composition. It’s a more spacious track, letting the vocals and instruments breathe.
Second single “Ok” is an easily relatable alt. pop number in the vein of Lovelytheband‘s “Broken”, painting an easy singalong chorus (“it’s ok to be lonely. It’s okay to be alone sometimes”) with handclaps, quirky notes and plucky guitars. One can imagine teens across America having this playing in their bedrooms as they wait to be able to see their friends again post-pandemic. The closer “Together” reaches further, bringing in horns for an “end of the world” love song (“Oh my god the world is ending. Do you still want to meet me for dinner?”). It’s a warm, charming song that ends the EP on a high note.
For fans of well-written and crafted indie pop songs, Michigander is an artist that should be on your radar, though if his sound continues in this current direction, he’ll be challenging acts like The Killers for bigger stages and playlist adds. The new EP drops on March 19th, and you can listen to “Ok” and “Let Down” here.