Friday, May 26, 2017

Local Spins Album Review Excerpt: "Holland natives flying high in Nashville as Midnight Pilot, put 'heart and soul' into new EP"

With deep roots in West Michigan, Midnight Pilot band members are finding key connections in 'the center of the music universe' as they create some engaging indie-rock/Americana music.

By Matt Marn

Published by Local Spins - January 13, 2017

Grant Geertsma and brothers Kyle and Kris Schonewill have been playing music since they were all in middle school in West Michigan.

And over the years - no matter where they were - they still made getting together and making music a priority.

That hasn't changed a bit.

Along with bandmate Dustin Wise, the group now based in Nashville and going by the name Midnight Pilot releases a new EP, "Hold On," today (Jan. 13).

Geertsma and the Schonewill brothers all graduated from Holland Christian High School - Geertsma and Kyle Schonewill in 2007, with Kyle's brother Kris walking across the same stage in 2009. Kyle studied audio engineering at Belmont University in Nashville after high school, and decided to stay put after he graduated there.

For Kris and Geertsma, Nashville seemed a fun new place to try for a while - especially to make their brand of indie-Americana music.

"It is the center of the music universe, so it is a great place to start a musical career," Kyle Schonewill said. "We love it here. All of our connections in music are here, and we have top-notch recording studios directly at our fingertips at all times."

With 'Hold On,' the band aimed for a relaxed, narrative approach. Inspired by artists like Beck and Randy Newman, Schonewill said the singer-songwriter vibe is a bit different for group members. The new EP has more band wallop than their 2014 EP, 'Let Go,' but less rock 'n' roll than their full-length, self-titled 2015 album or their 2016 EP, 'The Good Life.'

"We like to vary up our sounds per EP," he said. "On 'Hold On,' we are probably most proud of the arrangements of everything - especially the strings."

Schonewill said over the years, the group has worked hard to grow its name, mounting a few small tours and playing some memorable shows. But it remains heavily focused on making lots of new music.

"We have just naturally been drawn into making music," he said. "We feel like that is where our strengths lie, and the creation of the record is our favorite part."

Read the rest of the full Midnight Pilot review of their new EP, only at Local Spins!

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