Perfect Match – Jake LeMond, Juliane Bednarz Combine Songwriting Powers for Hickey Eyes ‘Nosey’ Single

Hickey Eyes - NOSEY resized
Hickey Eyes’ Jake LeMond and Juliane Bednarz sparkle on their latest single, “Nosey.” Photo – Alayna Currey

Jake LeMond and Juliane Bednarz serve as an emerging, magical songwriting team.

The Hickey Eyes indie rock duo and real-life couple meld enchanting, lush harmonies with infectious, glistening pop soundscapes on their latest single, “Nosey.”

“‘Nosey’ started off as just a chorus I came up with. That same night I was on the phone with Juliane joking about how she’s nosey, and we thought it would be funny to use that as an idea for another Hickey Eyes song,” said LeMond, who’s based in Detroit.

“I sang her a melody of how I thought the verses should go, and she sent me the whole first verse. I thought her words were perfect, so all I had to do was write a second verse.”

Throughout “Nosey,” breezy, sleek Mellotron seamlessly fuses with ascending, vibrant acoustic strums, tranquil slide guitar, steady drums and mellow bass to overcome potential relationship challenges.

LeMond sings, “Electric start/I head for the airport/Every goodbye seems to be cut short/Wish we could talk/Dead on the weekends/Against the clock/Gone off the deep end.”

“Collaborating with Jules on this one was fun because I would just send her voice memos of my progress throughout the night while I was writing, and she sent a verse, so it all came pretty fast since the chorus was already written,” he said.

“We share music ideas with each other as they come to us, and being that we’re so close, we’re not afraid to share honest opinions. Jules is new to songwriting, so she is still figuring out her style.”

LeMond and Bednarz also expanded their Hickey Eyes “Nosey” collaboration to include Ian Ruhala (slide guitar, Mellotron), Chris Koo (vocal editing), Ben Fisher (drum editing), Jake Rye (mixing) and Mike Cervantes (mastering).

“I spent a good chunk of time demoing out this one in my bedroom while learning how to use Logic. It started out much slower and sounded pretty sad to be honest. Jules wasn’t all that crazy about that version, so I tried to give it more energy to balance out the somewhat sad lyrics,” LeMond said.

“I (also) tracked slide guitar and Mellotron at my friend Ian Ruhala’s house. Ben Fisher who mixed ‘Spoon Me’ helped edit drums. Chris Koo, who I’ve had the opportunity to write with a lot for this year for his project Yueku, edited vocals, and he’s definitely inspired me to put out more music recently with how consistent he’s been with his releases.”

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Light Year – Michigander Rediscovers Purpose on ‘Everything Will Be OK Eventually’ EP

Michigander Press Photo 2021
Michigander’s “Everything Will Be OK Eventually” EP offers hope and optimism for the future. Photo – Kris Herrmann

For Michigander, a new release lights the way after a dark year.

The Detroit indie pop singer-songwriter shares a renewed sense of personal and creative purpose on his third optimistic, six-track EP, Everything Will Be OK Eventually, out today on all streaming platforms.

“I’m hoping these songs will become a soundtrack of a return to normal. I tend to write sad music, but it sounds nice and happy, and that usually kind of tricks people. People resonate with each EP and every song coming out at certain time frames in their lives,” said Jason Singer, aka Michigander.

“It feels weird to know this one will do the same thing, and I know one day I’ll look back on this time, so I try to enjoy it now. I hope it serves as a time stamp and takes people back to where we are right now.”

Released via C3 Records, Michigander’s Everything Will Be OK Eventually instantly transports pandemic-fatigued listeners to a hopeful nearby future filled with highly anticipated face-to-face interactions and group gatherings. Each melodic, expansive track allows people to release pent-up sighs of relief and shed lingering worries as they progress from one song to the next.

That cathartic return to normalcy starts with Singer’s latest exhilarating, spirited single, “Better,” as ascending, vibrant synths, roaring electric guitars, pounding drums and buoyant bass reveal a promising road ahead and a peaceful disruption in time.

Singer reflects, “You’re always scared of getting caught/Always questioning your thoughts/But you can’t hide how you feel/I wanna know how you feel/Feels like time is moving quicker, but I’m getting slower/Guess that’s just a part of getting older/Wish I could look away.”

“I tend to write music with the intention of knowing what’s the opener and what’s the ender, and I fill everything in the middle. ‘Better’ and ‘Together’ are purposely where they’re at on the EP, and it was very intentional to open it massively and close it softly. My favorite albums have great openers and great endings, and it’s something I always want to replicate when I make my music,” he said.

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Local Natives Bring Their ‘Sunlit Youth’ to Day 1 for Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival

Taylor Rice of Local Natives

Local Natives illuminated Kalamazoo with their shimmering, vibrant indie rock during a powerful 80-minute closing set at Saturday’s Audiotree Music Festival.

The Los Angeles indie rock quintet headlined day one of the two-day music festival at Arcadia Creek Festival Place and played tracks from their three critically-acclaimed albums, “Gorilla Manor,” “Hummingbird” and “Sunlit Youth.”

Founded in 2013, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

Local Natives’ Taylor Rice (vocals and guitar) energetically jumped into the crowd and surfed with excited festivalgoers during the band’s captivating “Sun Hands” encore.

“This is the last song of the year for us, and the last song of the night for you guys, so give us everything you’ve got, all right,” Rice said.

Bandmate Kelcey Ayer (vocals, keyboards, percussion and guitar) praised Audiotree for a memorable festival and briefed attendees on the group’s current plans.

“This is super, super fun for us, this is our very last show for the entire year,” Ayer said. “We’re glad to fly here and have it with you guys, and we want to say thank you to Audiotree for bringing us out to this beautiful place. We are working on a new record, that’s all we’ve been doing for this whole year.”

Local Natives also debuted a catchy new song, “When Am I Gonna Lose You,” with a Fleetwood Mac-inspired bassline as a promising preview of new material to come.

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Audiotree Music Festival Brings Emerging Indie Rock to Kalamazoo Today, Sunday

Local Natives will headline the Audiotree Music Festival in Kalamazoo today.

Indie music lovers will rejoice today with the start of Kalamazoo’s Audiotree Music Festival.

The two-day music festival kicks off at noon in Arcadia Creek Festival Place and features nearly 30 artists on two stages.

Denver psychedelic pop group Flaural will open the festival on the WIDR Discovery Stage while Los Angeles indie rock quintet Local Natives will perform a headlining set on the Main Stage.

New Jersey indie pop quintet Real Estate and Los Angeles indie folk rocker Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) will headline on Sunday.

Founded in 2013 by Kalamazoo natives Michael Johnston and Adam Thurston, the Chicago-based, Michigan-born Audiotree Music Festival celebrates new and emerging artists and is curated by the popular web music series Audiotree Live.

In 2015, Audiotree purchased two Chicago venues, Schubas Tavern and Lincoln Hall, adding a live concert booking, promoting and streaming division to the company. Since 2011, Audiotree’s online following has grown to include more than 350,000 YouTube subscribers. Now, the Audiotree Music Festival is expanding the match the scale of the entire company.

“While this year’s festival is very guitar-driven, we’re really excited about the variety we’ve still been able to cover,” said Patrick Van Wagoner, a talent buyer for the Audiotree Music Festival and Lincoln Hall, in a festival press release. “Attendees will find elements of rock ’n roll, punk, folk, pop, funk and more, while seeing plenty of acts with Audiotree history.”

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Mo Pop Festival Day 1 Serves Up Delectable Alt Rock, Hip-hop

Mondo Cozmo performs Saturday at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival.

Saturday served up the perfect dish of music, weather and crowds for day one at Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival.

The festival included a delectable sampling of 11 emerging alt rock, indie pop and hip-hop acts at West Riverfront Park on a dry, bright summer day.

To kickoff day one, Michigan-based acts Humons and Michigander provided tasty summer electronic and pop entrees to early arrivals.

As Humons, Detroit producer Ardalan Sedghi performed dream house tracks from “Spectra,” his five-song EP, and briefly transformed the park into a mini outdoor daytime dance hall for festivalgoers – the ideal way to start any Motor City music festival.

Humons’ dance club was quickly transformed into an intimate rock club when Kalamazoo’s Michigander took the Captain Pabst Stage for his set. Led by Kalamazoo-based Jason Singer, Michigander eagerly welcomed fans with several musical indie pop gems, including “5 a.m.” and “Nineties.”

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