Top 30 Songs for April 18-24, 2021

  1. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (3)
  2. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (1)
  3. SLEEP – The Frontier (4)
  4. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (5)
  5. FIRE – Two Feet (2)
  6. MY BEST FRIEND’S EX – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (8)
  7. LET DOWN – Michigander (6)
  8. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (10)
  9. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (11)
  10. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (12)
  11. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (13)
  12. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (14)
  13. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (7)
  14. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (9) 20th week on list
  15. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (17)
  16. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (22)
  17. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (18)
  18. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (19)
  19. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (21)
  20. METRONOME – Polarizer (23)
  21. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (24)
  22. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (25)
  23. PEACHES – Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon (26)
  24. YOU – Benny Blanco with Marshmello & Vance Joy (27)
  25. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (28)
  26. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (29)
  27. SHY AWAY – twenty one pilots (N)
  28. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (20)
  29. BLACK DAYS – Amongst Liars (30)
  30. SOFIA – Clairo (16)

Top 30 Songs for April 11-17, 2021

  1. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (2)
  2. FIRE – Two Feet (1)
  3. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (9)
  4. SLEEP – The Frontier (6)
  5. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (7)
  6. LET DOWN – Michigander (8)
  7. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (3)
  8. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (11)
  9. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (4)
  10. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (12)
  11. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (13)
  12. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (14)
  13. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (15)
  14. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (17)
  15. 1ST TIME – Bakar (5)
  16. SOFIA – Clairo (10)
  17. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (18)
  18. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (19)
  19. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (20)
  20. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (16)
  21. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (21)
  22. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (22)
  23. METRONOME – Polarizer (23)
  24. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (24)
  25. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (27)
  26. PEACHES – Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon (28)
  27. YOU – Benny Blanco with Marshmello & Vance Joy (29)
  28. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (30)
  29. FOLLOW YOU – Imagine Dragons (N)
  30. BLACK DAYS – Amongst Liars (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 4-10, 2021

  1. FIRE – Two Feet (1) 4th week at #1
  2. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (5)
  3. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (4)
  4. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (2)
  5. 1ST TIME – Bakar (3)
  6. SLEEP – The Frontier (8)
  7. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (9)
  8. LET DOWN – Michigander (10)
  9. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, SilkSonic (17)
  10. SOFIA – Clairo (6)
  11. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (11)
  12. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (12)
  13. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (13)
  14. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (14)
  15. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (15)
  16. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (7)
  17. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (19)
  18. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (20)
  19. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (21)
  20. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (22)
  21. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (23)
  22. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (24)
  23. METRONOME – Polarizer (26)
  24. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (27)
  25. DIRTY – grandson (16) 20th week on list
  26. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (18) 20th week on list
  27. SAVE YOUR TEARS – The Weeknd (N)
  28. PEACHES – Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon (N)
  29. YOU – Benny Blanco with Marshmello & Vance Joy (N)
  30. HYPOTHETICALS – Lake Street Dive (N)

Top 30 Songs for March 28-April 3, 2021

  1. FIRE – Two Feet (1) 3rd week at #1
  2. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (3)
  3. 1ST TIME – Bakar (2)
  4. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (5)
  5. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (6)
  6. SOFIA – Clairo (7)
  7. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (4)
  8. SLEEP – The Frontier (9)
  9. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (10)
  10. LET DOWN – Michigander (12)
  11. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (11)
  12. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (14)
  13. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (15)
  14. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (16)
  15. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (17)
  16. DIRTY – grandson (8)
  17. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (28)
  18. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (13)
  19. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (22)
  20. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (23)
  21. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (24)
  22. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (25)
  23. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (26)
  24. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (27)
  25. SHAME – Saboteurs (18)
  26. METRONOME – Polarizer (29)
  27. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (30)
  28. COLD – Chris Stapleton (19)
  29. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (20)
  30. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (21)

MICHIGANDER – EP Review: “Everything Will Be OK Eventually”

Photo by Kris Herrmann

As a lover of music, I listen to a lot of it, often for several hours a day. As a music blogger, I also learn about at least one new artist or band a day too. And every now and then, I come across a particularly good one who’s been around for several years, wondering how I could have possibly not known about them earlier. One such act is Michigander, an alternative rock project from Michigan (obviously) who makes some of the most consistently good melodic rock I’ve heard by any act in a long while. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been bingeing on their back music catalog, and can honestly say that I love every one of their songs – a rarity for even some of my favorite artists and bands. They dropped their latest EP Everything Will Be OK Eventually on March 19th, and I love it so much that I want to shout about it from the rooftops.

Michigander is the brain child of singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Jason Singer. Originally from the central Michigan city of Midland, in 2014 he moved to Kalamazoo, where he started his music career playing in dive bars and open mics. He released his wonderful debut single “Nineties” two years later, followed by several more singles and two outstanding EPs, ​Midland in 2018 and Where Do We Go From Here​ in 2019. I first learned about Michigander in late 2019 when I heard his single “Misery”. One of the songs from Where Do We Go From Here, “Misery” spent many weeks on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart, peaking at #20, and has been streamed more than 3.5 million times on Spotify.

Over the years, Singer has been joined by other talented musicians for the recording and performing of his music. The current Michigander lineup includes guitarist Jake LeMond, bassist Connor Robertson, and drummer Aaron Senor. (Senor also has his own music project Dawning, whose gorgeous EP Petals I reviewed last month.) Singer has also recently relocated to Detroit.

Everything Will Be OK Eventually, released through C3 Records, was produced by Singer and long-time collaborator Jake Rye, recorded at Social Recording Company in Adrian, Michigan, and mastered by Mike Cervantes. I think it’s Michigander’s finest work yet, with a fuller, more polished sound, thanks to a greater use of electronic elements than on their previous music. In an article about the EP in BrooklynVegan, Singer explains his approach for the creation of this record: “In the past, I didn’t want to write anything I wasn’t sure we could pull off live. This time, I didn’t care. I incorporated programming and samples that went beyond being a rock band. I became more sure of who I am, what I want to do with music, and how I want to go about it. I tried to be more vulnerable and make something I’m very proud of. I got to add in everything I always wanted to.”

As its title suggests, the EP offers positive messages of hope in these troubled times, delivered with dreamy, upbeat melodies and gorgeous instrumentation. Singer confided on his Instagram page: “I am so happy that these songs are now out in the world for you to hear. Each one of these tracks was a labor of love that my friends and I worked so hard on for over a year. I hope this EP finds a special place in your heart for the years to come. I hope it becomes the soundtrack for this time in our lives as we are slowly healing and returning to some sort of normalcy. I couldn’t have made these songs without the help of my best pals and my incredible team.”

He further elaborates in his comments for BrooklynVegan: “Even though there was so much uncertainty, I found peace in the fact we were all in it together. It was straightforward about the times we’re in, but it was meant to be peaceful. I’ve said the title over and over again to all of my friends; eventually, we’ll get back to normal, and everything will be alright. Personally, I’m very optimistic and hopeful about everything to a fault. You can hear it in the music. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing though.” It certainly isn’t, and the result is a stunning collection of songs that make you feel good, even in the sad parts.

The EP opens with “Better“, an exuberant yet poignant song about loss and wanting to be a better person; “Cause life might be good, but I wish that it would be better. Just want to be better. / Cause you tried to love me and I probably should have let you. Cause things would be better. Things would be better with you.” The song is gorgeous, with a swirling torrent of jangly and chiming guitars, driven by a pulsating bass line and urgent drumbeats, all melding into an electrifying wall of sound. The dual guitars of Singer and LeMond are quite breathtaking.

The touching video for “Better”, which was released concurrently with the EP, shows a man, played by Alex Wells, missing his former wife or girlfriend and trying to straighten out his life and become a better person, while Singer lurks in the background (or foreground) as he sings the song. At first it appears the man missing his wife or girlfriend is making himself better in the hopes of winning her back, but at the video’s end, it’s revealed that she had passed away. About the video, Singer explains: “I’ve wanted to do a video that doesn’t feature me as the focus. So when [director] Tyler [Appel] pitched a story-driven narrative for this one I knew right away it was the right vibe. I think it really captures my personality as the video is goofy but also makes you cry. It’s emotional. ‘Better’ is probably my favorite song off the new EP, it’s the type of song I’ve always dreamed of writing and sounds the closest to what I think Michigander embodies.”

Next up is “Let Down“, the deliriously-catchy lead single for the EP and the band’s highest-charting single to date, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart. I love this song, which is currently enjoying a long run on my own Weekly Top 30. The track’s arrangement and production values are superb, and a close listen reveals so many wonderful touches like Senor’s ace drumbeats, LeMond’s rousing guitar solo in the bridge, and the haunting piano keys in the outro. The lyrics speak to those optimistic feelings one gets when meeting a possible new love interest, but also the nagging fear that it won’t work out: “Well I feel like I’ve known you. Even though I’ve only met you. I don’t wanna mess it up, I’m probably gonna mess it up. / Cuz I got high hopes, I got high hopes. But they let me down, they usually let me down.” The sweet video shows Singer’s playful side.

Saturday” starts off gently, with strummed guitar and delicate percussion as Singer softly croons “Well it always feels like Saturday when I’m next to you. / And it’s all downhill from here, the minute that you walk away.” Soon, the song expands into a beautiful guitar-driven Kings of Leon-esque anthem. Singer’s heartfelt vocals remind me of Sir Sly front man Landon Jacobs as he plaintively sings of his fear of losing the things he values: “I heard my voice on the radio for the third time this week. So scared to death of losing it, I can’t breathe. And It’s all downhill from here, the minute that you realize that we’re all living in fear. And it’s something that we can’t hide. Well I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna let you slip away. Let you slip away.”

The beautiful tunes keep coming with “Headlights“, a bittersweet song about a lost love that Singer co-wrote with LeMond. Once again, the arrangement and instrumentals are stunning, with glittery piano keys and synths, over which LeMond’s layers chiming guitar notes. And as always, Singer’s vocals are deeply moving and lovely as he sings “Cause I can’t get over you. And I don’t think I want to.” “OK” is a bouncy, lighthearted tune with somewhat dark but optimistic lyrics that speak to wanting to be with the object of one’s affection, but also acknowledging that it’s alright to be alone, at least once in a while: “You’re the only one that I want to see right now. But since you’re not here, I think I’ll just go home. Kicking up the dust as I wander around downtown. I’ll do anything to not go home. It’s OK to be lonely. It’s OK to be alone sometimes.” I especially like the interplay between the jangly guitar chords and tinkling piano keys that take the edge off what could be an otherwise melancholy message.

Closing track “Together” is a charming song about coping with the anxiety and isolation many of us experienced at the outset of the global pandemic: “Well oh my god, the world is ending. Do you still want to meet me for dinner? If the world’s gonna fall apart, maybe we could fall together. If the world’s gonna fall apart, I’ll stick with you.” Musically, the song has an exuberant, sweeping melody, highlighted by glittery synths and jangly guitars, giving it a bit of a Coldplay vibe. The blaring trumpet notes add a lovely sophisticated texture to the track as well. At the song’s end, Singer wistfully laments “Wish I could be with all my friends, but I’m feeling all alone again.”

Well, what can I add about this beautiful EP that I haven’t already gushed about? Everything Will Be OK Eventually is a stunning, flawlessly-crafted work, and easily one of the best EPs of 2021. I now count Michigander among my favorite artists currently making music, and look forward to hearing more stellar music from them for years to come.

Michigander will open for Mt. Joy at a socially-distanced Detroit show on May 7 (tickets).

Follow Michigander:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Stream their music:  SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloudYouTube

Purchase:  AmazonBandcamp

Top 30 Songs for March 21-27, 2021

  1. FIRE – Two Feet (1)
  2. 1ST TIME – Bakar (3)
  3. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (4)
  4. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (2)
  5. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (6)
  6. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (7)
  7. SOFIA – Clairo (9)
  8. DIRTY – grandson (5)
  9. SLEEP – The Frontier (10)
  10. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (11)
  11. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (12)
  12. LET DOWN – Michigander (13)
  13. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (8)
  14. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (18)
  15. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (19)
  16. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (20)
  17. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (21)
  18. SHAME – Saboteurs (17)
  19. COLD – Chris Stapleton (14)
  20. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (15)
  21. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (16)
  22. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (24)
  23. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (25)
  24. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (26)
  25. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (27)
  26. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (29)
  27. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (30)
  28. LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic (N)
  29. METRONOME – Polarizer (N)
  30. AT HOME IN THE DARK – Au Gres (N)

Top 30 Songs for March 14-20, 2021

  1. FIRE – Two Feet (6)
  2. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (1)
  3. 1ST TIME – Bakar (5)
  4. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (4)
  5. DIRTY – grandson (2)
  6. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (7)
  7. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (8)
  8. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (3)
  9. SOFIA – Clairo (11)
  10. SLEEP – The Frontier (13)
  11. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (14)
  12. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (15)
  13. LET DOWN – Michigander (16)
  14. COLD – Chris Stapleton (9)
  15. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (10)
  16. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (12)
  17. SHAME – Saboteurs (18)
  18. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (19)
  19. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (20)
  20. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (22)
  21. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (23)
  22. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (17) 20th week on list
  23. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (21)
  24. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (27)
  25. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (28)
  26. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (29)
  27. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (30)
  28. GOOD DAYS – SZA (26)
  29. I NEED YOU – Jon Batiste (N)
  30. NOT DEAD YET – Lord Huron (N)

Top 30 Songs for March 7-13, 2021

  1. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (1)
  2. DIRTY – grandson (3)
  3. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (2)
  4. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (6)
  5. 1ST TIME – Bakar (7)
  6. FIRE – Two Feet (11)
  7. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (8)
  8. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (9)
  9. COLD – Chris Stapleton (4)
  10. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (10)
  11. SOFIA – Clairo (12)
  12. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (5)
  13. SLEEP – The Frontier (15)
  14. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (16)
  15. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (19)
  16. LET DOWN – Michigander (20)
  17. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (14)
  18. SHAME – Saboteurs (21)
  19. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (22)
  20. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (23)
  21. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (18)
  22. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (25)
  23. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (26)
  24. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (13)
  25. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (17) 21st week on list
  26. GOOD DAYS – SZA (24)
  27. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (30)
  28. ROSE HIPS – Dawning (N)
  29. TIME TRAVELER – Matt Jaffe (N)
  30. BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE – Melotika (N)

Top 30 Songs for February 28-March 6, 2021

  1. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (2)
  2. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (1)
  3. DIRTY – grandson (3)
  4. COLD – Chris Stapleton (5)
  5. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (6)
  6. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (8)
  7. 1ST TIME – Bakar (9)
  8. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby(10)
  9. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (12)
  10. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (11)
  11. FIRE – Two Feet (15)
  12. SOFIA – Clairo (14)
  13. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (4)
  14. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (7)
  15. SLEEP – The Frontier (17)
  16. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (18)
  17. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (13) 20th week on list
  18. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (16)
  19. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (21)
  20. LET DOWN – Michigander (27)
  21. SHAME – Saboteurs (23)
  22. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (25)
  23. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (26)
  24. GOOD DAYS – SZA (24)
  25. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (29)
  26. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (30)
  27. SATISFIED – Skar de Line (22)
  28. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (19)
  29. BROKEN PEOPLE – almost monday (20)
  30. ALL MY FAVORITE SONGS – Weezer (N)

Top 30 Songs for February 21-27, 2021

  1. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (1) 3rd week #1
  2. DRIVERS LICENSE – Olivia Rodrigo (2)
  3. DIRTY – grandson (3)
  4. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (4)
  5. COLD – Chris Stapleton (12)
  6. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (6)
  7. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (5)
  8. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (8)
  9. 1ST TIME – Bakar (9)
  10. LEVITATING – Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby (10)
  11. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (11)
  12. THE BANDIT – Kings of Leon (15)
  13. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (7)
  14. SOFIA – Clairo (16)
  15. FIRE – Two Feet (17)
  16. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (13)
  17. SLEEP – The Frontier (19)
  18. ALL ABOUT YOU – The Knocks featuring Foster the People (20)
  19. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (14)
  20. BROKEN PEOPLE – almost monday (18)
  21. MY EX’S BEST FRIEND – Machine Gun Kelly & blackbear (25)
  22. SATISFIED – Skar de Line (23)
  23. SHAME – Saboteurs (24)
  24. GOOD DAYS – SZA (27)
  25. ESTELLA – Kenny Hoopla featuring Travis Barker (28)
  26. ENEMY MINE – Roadkeeper (29)
  27. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (21)
  28. LET DOWN – Michigander (N)
  29. WAITING ON A WAR – Foo Fighters (N)
  30. BREATHE – Ships Have Sailed (N)