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or Another Michael, it all boils down to trust. In mid-2017, the critically acclaimed indie three-piece packed their bags and collectively relocated from Albany, NY to a shared house in West Philadelphia. This move signaled not only the start of a new chapter for the trio, but also a deepening of the bonds that would come to define their captivating debut LP, ‘New Music and Big Pop.’
“It’s hard for a group of people to get closer than living together,” says bassist and producer Nick Sebastiano. “The stronger our connection grew, the more it shaped the music we found ourselves making.”
It should come as little surprise, then, that ‘New Music and Big Pop’ is Another Michael’s most collaborative work yet. Recorded in a small A-frame house-turned-makeshift studio outside Ferndale, NY, the record finds the trio pushing their sound in a dreamier, more folk-influenced direction, building songs around vulnerable, intimate performances using an ethereal palette of breezy guitars, subtle keyboards, and layered harmonies. As on the band’s early EPs, singer and songwriter Michael Doherty’s mesmerizing voice is front and center here, calling to mind Robin Pecknold or Ben Bridwell in its reedy, crystalline timbre, but it feels more at home than ever before amidst the album’s lush, Technicolor landscape, which the band partnered with producer and fellow housemate Scoops Dardaris to create. The result is a masterfully understated record that belies its status as a full-length debut, a thoughtful, poetic, collection all about growth and change, hope and faith, endings and beginnings, delivered by a band that’s only just begun to scratch the surface of their story.
The music of String Machine is rapturous and inviting. You’ll find an undeniable magic within each note, a palpable energy owed in part to its creative process. Hallelujah Hell Yeah (released February 25th, 2022) is an album of joy, vulnerability, and forgiveness. Through this inventive indie rock, seven friends manage to transport you to the bedrooms, basements, and home studios in which this was all created, conceptualized, and recorded.
This recording is the band’s representation of what it means to be grateful that one is alive, regardless of whether that carpe diem spirit is sourced in optimism (“Hallelujah!”) or nihilism (“Hell Yeah!”). It’s a powerful statement that rings especially poignant in such uncertain times.
The former solo project of vocalist and guitarist David Beck, String Machine was created when Beck enlisted a number of friends to help create his musical vision. The group, now seven members — Beck (he/him), Laurel Wain (she/her), Nic Temple (he/him), Katie Morrow (she/her), Ian Compton (he/him), Dylan Kersten (he/him), and Chris Beaulieu (he/him).
String Machine isn’t shy about sharing their heart with you, and that confessional spirit continues on Hallelujah Hell Yeah. “The album was inspired by moments of dealing with anxiety surrounding a lot of personal stuff. Usually, my instinct when anxious is to keep myself busy. Writing songs was the middle ground where I could solve inner-turmoils while feeling productive,” Beck said.