One other Michael began out because the solo venture of singer-songwriter Michael Doherty, who recorded 2016’s Sans EP on his personal earlier than bringing in multi-instrumentalists Nick Sebastiano and Alenni Davis. Rounded out by drummer Noah Dardaris and longtime engineer Scoops Dardaris, the band launched its heat, enchanting debut LP, New Music and Huge Pop, in early 2021. As quickly as they completed that album, they started engaged on a brand new batch of songs, which took form over the course of three years at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia and the Ferndale, NY home the place they tracked their debut. With over 20 songs to play with, One other Michael determined to separate them into two sibling data, every with a definite sonic identification. The primary, a 29-minute assortment referred to as Needs to Fulfill that showcases the band’s knack for hooky, playful songwriting, was launched final week, whereas the extra experimental Choose Me Up, Flip Me Upside Down is ready to reach early subsequent 12 months. Whether or not leaning into acquainted indie folks tropes or increasing into new territory, One other Michael’s music stays big-hearted, humorous, and filled with delicate left turns as a result of it’s rooted in the identical musical and collaborative instincts. It’s only a pleasure to listen to them proceed stretching them out.
We caught up with One other Michael’s Michael Doherty and Nick Sebastiano for the newest version of our Artist Highlight collection to speak about their relationship with New Music and Huge Pop, what makes a great track, the making of their two new albums, and extra.
How has your relationship to the songs on New Music and Huge Pop modified since its launch?
Michael Doherty: One thing I actually love about touring is getting to observe the music primarily dwell in all these totally different areas as we go alongside. That basically helps develop my relationship with the music, alongside seeing how they sit with the newer songs we write and the way they impart with one another. And a variety of the songs actually simply really feel higher to me as time goes on, which is a very good feeling.
Nick Sebastiano: Placing out extra music does undoubtedly shed a special mild on the earlier work that we’ve completed, like New Music and Huge Pop. Plenty of instances, if you end making one thing, you have got a variety of feelings about it; a few of them good, a few of them pissed off – it relies upon how a lot of a perfectionist you’re. As a producer, I do some mixing as properly for our stuff, and from a technical standpoint, it’s straightforward to be completed with one thing and be like, “It’s good, I want this might have been somewhat totally different.” And I do suppose that that’s, on this case, a wound that point does heal if you come again to an previous document. I haven’t listened to New Music and Huge Pop in a minute, however final time I did take heed to elements of it, I simply discovered myself letting go of these kinds of issues and appreciating that little time capsule that was us. I feel undoubtedly we’re extra forgiving in hindsight on stuff that we’ve completed than perhaps we might be instantly after making it.
I assume that making this pair of data, Needs to Fulfill and Choose Me Up, Flip Me Upside Down, pressured you to consider how they relate to and are totally different from one another. Did you additionally take into consideration how they tie into your debut album and the identification of One other Michael as a band?
MD: If we wished to make a pop track, we made a pop track; if we wished to make a folky nation track, we made a folky nation track. We tried to not fear about how it could all match an excessive amount of. We simply actually targeted on how, properly, if it’s us doing it in our voice, then I feel it ought to technically be capable of sit properly with the debut.
NS: I don’t suppose that New Music and Huge Pop was one thing that was presently on our minds when engaged on the brand new music, and I don’t suppose measuring as much as it was one thing that we ever actually considered. I feel that perhaps reveals within the departure from it in some areas in sound, however there are also naturally parts on Needs to Fulfill and past which are simply going to sound like One other Michael. There are some songs that sound extra like New Music and Huge Pop than others, and it’s not essentially by design that it occurred that means. I do suppose that when engaged on the brand new music, our gaze was just about utterly simply ahead and not likely wanting again at our very last thing. However in hindsight, it’s cool to match and distinction and see what occurred in that hole of time between making each. You learn between the traces and fill within the gaps, and that a part of it’s cool.
MD: We’re additionally fortunate, among the songs we recorded and wrote even earlier than New Music and Huge Pop got here out. Like ‘Candle’, I have a look at it as the primary track we recorded, and that was very a lot quickly after we actually completed every little thing with New Music and Huge Pop. Making ‘Candle’ sort of felt like a celebration of the brand new music that we will make. It was our first time engaged on a full track in a studio setting and actually tried to broaden the scope of what sort of music we may make and the way we may use a studio.
NS: That’s really a very good level. ‘Candle’ is the very first thing that we recorded post-New Music and Huge Pop, and it sounds nothing like New Music and Huge Pop stylistically. I feel we completed New Music, we knew what that was alleged to be, after which we’re like, now we’re free to do no matter we really feel like doing subsequent. I don’t suppose we ever actually felt connected to following up New Music and Huge Pop in a linear means.
Michael, you’ve mentioned that the thought of a great track is all the time altering for you. What I like about the way in which Needs to Fulfill opens with ‘Guitars’, although, is that what meaning generally is that the thought of a great track individually, or the evolution of a band extra broadly, can appear a bit humorous and absurd to consider. Is it one thing that always will get to you if you’re writing?
MD: Yeah. I feel you’re fairly spot on with ‘Guitars’ there – the lyric that I’ve, “It’s gonna make my voice sound totally different,” that’s sort of me nodding at the concept that each time I make music, I’m technically getting older. It’s cool you picked up on that sort of factor. Particularly within the current, if you’re making a document or a track, the place it’s very trapped inside you, it’s onerous to not have like ideas of, Oh man, is what I’m making good proper now? Particularly within the means of engaged on one track after which engaged on one other track like a 12 months later, after which attempting to narrate these two collectively.
Is there one thing you search for in your individual songs that helps you identify whether or not they’re value holding or revisiting after a protracted time period?
MD: I assume I’m all the time in search of there to be some small imprint of shock. I do see songwriting as a really meditative sort of factor; generally I’ll be doing it and it’s very a lot a Zen second with myself, so I actually look to have the ability to see that after engaged on one thing, I’ll take heed to it and be like, Wow, I can’t consider that’s one thing I did. I can’t even actually keep in mind the house round me once I was occurring. I assume I attempt to search for moments like that within the songs that, and even the recordings themselves. After we have been recording ‘Guitars’, that’s an entire day that we spent simply forwards and backwards layering the track, and I keep in mind listening to it a lot extra when it was getting near being accomplished than the moments of really recording it. So I’m in search of any sort of signal that there was that form of factor occurring throughout the course of.
NS: I feel I perceive what you have been saying if you’re asking in regards to the track ‘Guitars’ and the lyrics being like, “Guitars get acoustic generally, guitars go electrical generally.” It’s simply sort of a vibe. There’s such a effective line between what makes a track good and perhaps a track we’re not as focused on or I don’t resonate with as a lot. It’s onerous to pinpoint and create a rubric in your thoughts about what makes it good or what’s making it converse to me probably the most. There’s all these totally different forks on the highway if you’re making a document; you possibly can have acoustic guitar, you might have electrical guitar, however in the end is that going to make or break the entire thing? I assume you don’t really know till it’s all put collectively and all of it makes you are feeling one thing. Nevertheless it’s undoubtedly a humorous idea that music might be good and unhealthy, and it’s undoubtedly humorous that we don’t know actually why that’s [laughs]. Not less than I don’t.
MD: I really feel like a completed track or completed document, it’s actually simply the set mixture of every little thing that we ended on. It’s like, we may have labored on this perpetually if we actually wished to, or we may make so many various variations of this if we actually wished to. However you all the time gotta be sincere with it and transfer on to the subsequent factor.
How did you determine to separate these two albums?
MD: The massive factor was we knew we wished to complete at the very least 20 songs earlier than we determined what we wished to do with them, whether or not we pair it down or make it an entire huge document or make it two data. What we selected with making two data sort of got here out of attempting to sequence issues.
NS: It’s true, we simply began making songs – generally we might go into the studio to make a track, generally we’d have a block the place we’d attempt to document three tracks. We didn’t have all of those songs written upfront, we have been demoing and recording as we went alongside. I feel the explanation we didn’t need to simply make one album is as a result of after we completed a brand new track or two, there was all the time one other one developing and we didn’t need to depart any behind. At a sure level, we needed to be like, “Alright, we have to cap this someplace.”
After which sequencing into two albums – hilarious. Behind me proper now’s a whiteboard in my room, and we had all the individuals concerned in making the document – myself, Michael, Scoops, Alenni, Noah – rank songs from our favourite track out of the 21 that we ended up with to our least favourite. We actually tried all kinds of issues, we collected knowledge, and we have been actually attempting to determine what to do with this music. Finally, in dialog with individuals we belief – ourselves, our label, administration – we got here to the conclusion of a format: We’ll make two albums, however we don’t need to make the identical album twice. We don’t need to make two albums that really feel the identical. We need to make a comparatively shorter album, one which’s longer. We wish their energies to be totally different, though we made all of the music over the identical form of time period. It took a second –we swapped in stuff, and there may simply have been modifications. However that is what we in the end felt good about.
MD: It actually mirrors the method of the song-making itself – it truly is seeing what’s going to come back out subsequent by means of the demoing course of, after which coming collectively within the recording course of, all of it may have been so many issues. And with that being mentioned, the sequencing and the forms of data they might have been individually may have been so many various issues.
The rollout has additionally been fascinating. You introduced them collectively, however you didn’t reveal the tracklist for the second album or the precise launch date, although you launched singles for each. It undoubtedly frames the 2 albums as being linked in some methods, versus asserting Needs to Fulfill after which surprise-releasing Choose Me Up, Flip Me Upside Down.
MD: It feels good to not have it really feel like a whole shock that we made two albums. It was Run for Cowl’s concept to launch a special single from each, and it feels good to know there’s extra music coming that’s associated to this music.
NS: I really feel prefer it’s an sincere method to do it. If you put out two data and there’s time between each of them, individuals assume that there’s time and house and progress and development between each, and we did make these on the similar time. We did curate, I feel, two very totally different data, however it felt like an sincere method to be upfront about what you’re going to get from us over the subsequent 12 months or so.
You’ve mentioned that Choose Me Up is the extra experimental document, however there’s undoubtedly hints of experimentation on Needs to Fulfill songs like ‘Analysis’ and ‘Piano Classes’, which feels significantly important because the nearer. Had been you intentional about their inclusion and placement on this album?
MD: I assume I see ‘Analysis’ as an intermission observe in a means, and ‘Piano Classes’ on the finish appears like a finale/wink form of factor.
NS: Together with songs like ‘Analysis’ and ‘Piano Classes’ on Needs to Fulfill was undoubtedly intentional. It may function a style of a special sound, however it’s sort of like, in case you have Needs to Fulfill and Choose Me Up, Flip Me Upside Down, I really feel like ‘Analysis’ and ‘Piano Classes’ are just like the yin inside the yang. I feel if you get to Choose Me Up, Flip Me Upside Down, to not spoil an excessive amount of, the inverse can be true, too, the place there can be songs that sound like One other Michael historically.
How did the “memes” half in ‘Piano Classes’ materialize?
MD: ‘Piano Classes’ got here out of two totally different demos that acquired spliced collectively to be one new track that we might document within the studio. The “memes” half – I imply, actually boring reply, sort of, however that’s one thing that I wished to only actually bounce out on the listener. Like I say, I like when songs have little surprises in them, particularly to sort of simply be like, “Are you continue to listening?” [Nick laughs] I don’t know actually the place that got here from except for simply being in that meditative state of songwriting and feeling like that was the factor that wanted to be what jumps out within the track.
NS: The subsequent logical step within the highway of the track. Yeah, Mike had made two GarageBand demos, I preferred each them, they have been each sort of incomplete on their very own. I used to be bugging Mike always to ship me the stems from GarageBand in order that I may put them collectively and make it into one factor. I’m like, “I need this to be one track.” I instantly beloved the “memes” half. I like the traces, “You’ve gotta have a humorousness/ I’m not speaking about Know Your Memes,” after which it retains repeating – repeated for emphasis is the way in which that I give it some thought. I feel in some unspecified time in the future there was perhaps query as as to whether or not we should always do this. Perhaps it subconsciously for Mike speaks to – you possibly can scroll “memes, memes” continuous, you already know.
There’s a variety of humour on this album, however on the track ‘Angel’, it nearly sounds such as you actually can’t pressure it. It’s grounded and there’s a lightness to it, however it additionally feels private and shifting. Do you keep in mind what it felt like because it got here out?
MD: That’s the one track I can consider from this complete batch that dates again to the New Music and Huge Pop writing. After I hear it now, I undoubtedly consider a sure time of my life that I join so much to after we moved to Philadelphia and transitional phases of my life and all the time asking myself if I’m on the precise trajectory. Do I do know what makes me comfortable? That track got here out of a variety of that sort of questioning.
Are you able to share one factor that evokes you about one another?
NS: Michael and Michael’s relationship with music is in contrast to anyone that I’ve ever met, and I feel that’s actually inspiring. Michael listens to extra music than anyone I’ve ever met in my life and appreciates not essentially in a means that manifests in tangible causes. Like, one thing that Mike will resonate with in a track that he’s listening to or engaged on can be one thing that perhaps doesn’t even make any sense to me, however it works for him, and he actually enjoys it. A humorous means the place this manifests is, Mike will play one thing and be like, “I’m about to indicate you a brand new track, however I feel it sounds an excessive amount of like this.” After which he’ll play, and I’m like, “Dude, I don’t even hear in any respect what you’re speaking about with what it feels like. It simply feels like One other Michael music to me.” Or he’ll be like, “This sounds a lot like my different track,” after which I’ll be like, “There’s nothing about this that’s the identical, really.” However by means of his lens, it means an identical factor to him, and that’s all that issues. I undoubtedly suppose the way in which Mike experiences and understands a track may be very distinctive and provoking.
MD: That’s actually candy. I feel the largest factor that evokes me working with Nick is, I see a lot calmness and relaxed feeling in you and the way in which you’re employed on issues. That undoubtedly simply helps calm me down once I really feel like I’m getting actually loopy a few sure means of the work, and clearly touring collectively, and moments on stage. I imply, who doesn’t want that of their life?
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability and size.