In 2022, we’re deep in the thick of albums being at least written and sometimes recorded during the pandemic. A lot of these are the result of being recorded piecemeal, shared bits uploaded and shared from Dropbox to Dropbox. That’s not a slight - many of those records are great. But it’s really refreshing to hear something in this day that is the product of people sitting together in a room together. That’s what we have here with New Music and Big Pop by Another Michael.
Originally conceived as a solo project by singer-songwriter Michael Doherty on the heels of 2016’s Sans and 2018’s Land EP’s, Another Michael gradually blossomed into a band with the addition of bassist and producer Nick Sebastiano and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Alenni Davis. For their debut LP, the band recorded in a house turned studio outside Ferndale, New York. The result is something that feels totally lived in and completely refreshing.
Opener “New Music” starts with gentle acoustic strums and Doherty’s gentle voice. It sounds like you’re being dropped into an intimate moment. But then other instruments and vocals begin to peek in, like sunlight behind a curtain in the morning. Soon, the track is enveloped in a cool melody. It sets the table for the record to come in a grand fashion.
“I Know You’re Wrong” dabbles in understated power pop, while “My Day” is a simple acoustic song that is so low-fi that the upswing of “Big Pop” almost takes you by surprise. It glides so casually and catchy that you almost can’t believe it’s over and immediately want to replay it.
The songs on New Music and Big Pop are fun, breezy and elemental. It is a record that sounds like a group enjoying creating something together. There’s nothing forced about it. It’s a great formula. Here’s to Another Michael keeping up with that as they grow as a band.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media