Add to Calendar
$15 Advance | $18 Day of Show
Something very special happens in the moment a listener truly connects to a song–some intangible reaction that bridges science and emotion, turning firing synapses into something beautiful. Another Michael exists for that moment: when a song transforms the setting of a long walk home, or when it speaks to a past experience while simultaneously making a new one, or when it taps into something universal by relating details so specific and personal that they could only be revealed in music. On their new dual LPs, Wishes To Fulfill and Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down, the band set out to revel in their love of song, to create and pay tribute to that transcendent musical moment across two contrasting but complimentary albums–and their finest work yet.
Helmed by lead singer/songwriter Michael Doherty and producer/bassist Nick Sebastiano, along with signature contributions of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Alenni Davis, drummer Noah Dardaris, and longtime engineer/co-producer/confidante Scoops Dardaris, Wishes To Fulfill and Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down are Another Michael’s definitive statement on the value of a good song told through a combined total of 21 very good songs. The albums took shape across three years of writing and recording chunks at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the same house in Ferndale, NY where the band made their debut LP, 2020’s New Music and Big Pop (which drew critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, Billboard, Paste Magazine, and many more). The time proved so fruitful that it wasn’t long before the musicians began to realize that they had quite a bit more than an album’s worth of material on their hands. “Initially we set out to make songs to build one record,” explains Sebastiano. “Which then turned into making songs to build a long record, then a double record, before finally deciding on just making two separate albums.”
The result is a pair of releases that feel like siblings, undeniably different entities that still share key sonic DNA, and each providing a plethora of dynamics, feelings, and moods to soundtrack the richness of life. “I think Another Michael generally makes music that can be applicable to the listener’s agenda,” says Sebastiano. “A person can have what really feels like a relationship with a song, and the songs that we love are entities that we turn to in a wide range of situations.” Doherty adds, “I think good songs are just ones you can find yourself bringing with you all your life no matter where it takes you.”
2023’s Wishes To Fulfill is a lean 29 minute set of nine single-worthy tracks that are so timelessly hooky that they might fool you into thinking you’ve stumbled upon a greatest hits collection from some classic guitar pop band rather than the latest release from of the genre’s most exciting up-and-comers. Arriving in early 2024, Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down, is more expansive–it patiently unfolds, revealing an experimental side that brings new hues into the band’s vibrant sound. Both of the records highlight the core elements of Another Michael’s music: deeply hooky songwriting wrapped in inventive chord progressions, lush arrangements full of nimble basslines layered harmonies, and Doherty’s distinctive voice drawing all of the elements together. “I think the idea of a good song is always changing for me,” Doherty says. “The creative processes or personal listening experiences I’ve had are always meant to give me a deeper understanding of that.” That openness feels palpable in the songwriting, with everything from guitar pop, to indie folk, to R&B is thrown into the soup–Wishes to Fulfill takes the recipe to its most immediate and catchy conclusion, while Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down uses new ingredients to push the sounds and styles into unexpected directions.
Wishes To Fulfill highlights like “Angel,” “Baseball Player,” and “Water Pressure,” feel like Another Michael putting all of their songwriting craftsmanship to creating songs that will be stuck in your head after one chorus. Then, Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside down takes that same knack for melody and applies it to left turns like the hypnotic quasi-krautrock of “I’ve Come Around”, the sparse balladry of “Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down”), or the pulsating synth explorations of “Diners Spoon.” And throughout both releases, Doherty’s conversational lyricism matches the music’s unbridled creativity.
It’s clear from Doherty’s words throughout the two records that the importance Another Michael prescribes to music truly permeates their existence. It’s the lens through which they see the world, coloring both the smallest most mundane moments and the biggest and most impactful. Doherty draws vignettes of everyday life and innermost emotions with equal attention to detail, often grappling with living in an increasingly chaotic and overwhelming world. “There’s motifs that point to an underlying ‘American’ theme,” explains Sebastiano. “American cities, baseball, Disney, capitalism–and all the anxieties that go along with existing in a society that is proud of itself for what’s on the surface, and exhausted by its difficulties underneath. I think the reality is that our experience in life is largely an American one but for obvious reasons it’s kinda off-putting to attach America to our identity, and I think that’s how a lot of people feel despite having no choice but to participate in it. I think we love music because we can turn to our favorite songs to be there for us during the trials and triumphs of this mandatory American world.”
Another Michael’s adoration for music allows for the simple satisfaction of finding that solace, but it also taps into something deeper, something connective. “Music feels like a medium of communication,” says Sebastiano, “It’s not a purposeful decision to talk about music in our songs but it just inherently means so much to us. If something makes your heart sing, the audience is going to hear it.” On Wishes To Fulfill and Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down, the band didn’t set out to capture the all encompassing, existential value of music, but they did contribute to it–offering more songs to the world and with them chances to create one of those moments.