Complete unknowns are a rarity. It’s just so uncommon that you come up on an artist who hasn’t released anything more than a few live recordings. Listening to Michigander (completely un-ironic name; they’re from Kalamazoo) for the first time, you’ll find yourself asking no matter how you feel about the music how you managed to get so lucky as to see a band in its genesis. With the release of their first single ever, “Nineties,” they’re tackling something that was inevitably going to come up in song…nostalgia for the only decade that matters to some people.
One of the most interesting things about the song is the kind of youthful idealism lead vocalist and songwriter Jason Singer brings to the table. He sings, “I wanna go back to the ‘90s, and go to New York City / When everything was easier…’Cause the world I know is falling apart.” There’s a cool, perhaps openly naive duality to this statement. Anyone who lived in New York during the ‘90s will tell you that it was a more dangerous and harder place to live. At the same time, if you were an American child then, you’ve spent almost the entirety of your adult life steeped in televised fear, post 9/11 war mongering, and political corruption (by American standards at least); the ‘90s remain the most carefree and idealized time of your life. Statements like Singer’s only highlights how much work is left to do, and that insight is worth a few listens.