Thursday, June 2, 2016

Local Spins Sneak Peek: Singer/Songwriter Matt Gabriel takes eclectic, diverse approach on new EP, 'Fiction'

On his newest recording, the Grand Rapids artist aimed to "write something different." He'll perform those genre-spanning songs and more compelling material along the lakeshore in coming weeks.

By Matt Marn

Published by Local Spins

It starts fast and energetic, coming at listeners with a country twang, like an Old West train robbery.

That was the scene that West Michigan singer/songwriter Matt Gabriel envisioned while writing the first track on his new EP, "Fiction."

That renegade image fits perfectly - not only with the song, but with the entire album - because Gabriel refuses to let himself be pigeonholed into one style or genre.

"I'm always trying to write something different," Gabriel said. "I'm surprised how people don't get bored, staying all within one genre, not even branching out simply for their own enjoyment."

The 27-year-old Jenison native's EP is versatile in the tone of its songs, an impressive feat considering there are only three tracks on the recording. The first, "True North," is a faster-paced, upbeat song, full of country twang in the guitar licks. The track's lyrics deliver a message about breaking ranks with what should be, in favor of following your own path instead.

Read more about this EP, and Matt Gabriel's songwriting style, on the Local Spins website!

Local Spins Sneak Peek: Channing & Quinn embrace Michigan as duo's new home on 'Up North' album, revel in audience-pleasing, multi-instrumental shows

With their new album, Channing Lee and Quinn Mathews add a Great Lakes State perspective to their unique indie-folk, which will come to life next week at SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids

By Matt Marn

Published by Local Spins

When West Michigan's Channing Lee and Quinn Mathews throw an album release party, they do it right.

From singing along to songs to tapping feet and even dancing off to the side of the stage, the crowd clearly had a blast at the duo's "Up North" album release party last week at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in downtown Grand Haven.

Channing & Quinn's new album is the first written completely in Michigan since the duo moved to Grand Rapids after a nine-year stint in Nashville. They saw the phrase "Up North" as one that's often associated with vacations, or at least relaxing and having a great time with loved ones in the Great Lakes State.

"So, it is a very good title for our album," said Lee, noting the couple wanted the album-release show "to be like a party - a fun time and a celebration of this album."

Indeed, it was.

Read the rest of the concert coverage and album review on the Local Spins website!