Review by Matt Wong & Staff
Hailing from Sacramento, CA, Matt Michaelis is an independent songwriter and producer, Michaelis grew up playing the piano and added guitar and music production to his arsenal after a vocal injury prompted a change in his music career path. His second album, Intergalactic was released January 2020. Due to his injured vocal chords, Michaelis newfound collaborations with multiple singers gives each song a unique sound. A common thread of angst-driven rock and roll interlaced with messages of perseverance, individuality, and determination runs through his music. .
The album's title track, "Intergalactic" featuring vocalist Chris Hodges will blow you away and inspire you at the same time. “Intergalactic” begins with drums, guitar, and bass cranking out a hard driving rock groove. The band begins to play more rhythmically once Hodges energetic vocals enter on the first verse. Vocally, Hodges has an energy similar to Geddy Lee of Rush and is the perfect choice for this song. "I was born, predefined. Strong hands, willing mind. There was once, I would stall. But now I'm giving my all."
Written and produced Michaelis, the arrangement begins to gradually thicken halfway through the first verse as a second guitar part, background vocals, and finally an organ are introduced. Upon hitting the chorus, the song’s arrangement gives listeners a “we have arrived” sensation as it blooms through an excellent use of dynamics, and an effective use of background vocals.
The song goes through another verse and chorus, and just when listeners feel that the song has peaked, Michaelis throws more at listeners with a well-crafted bridge to give listeners a fresh take on this exciting musical journey, which is followed by a burning guitar solo. After all this musical intensity, listeners are given a break with a scaled back last chorus, which gradually ramps back up to full dynamics with the outro.
Written about self confidence and overcoming self doubt. The lyrics in “Intergalactic” are meaningful and encouraging. In the second verse, Michaelis sings “I’m alive, in my prime. iCertified state of mind.” If "Intergalactic" represents unlimited potential, force, and drive not held back by any constraints, then this song certainly has those qualities.
“Intergalactic” by Matt Michaelis is the kind of music that is energizing and good for the spirit. It is a well crafted and performed song, yet it is also rough and gritty which adds to its magic. Hodges is a true rock vocalist who has his own sound, but without a doubt has put it a lot of time to study the rock idiom, and the artists who have come before. Shout out to the Michaelis who displays phenomenal musicianship and production skills on this track, yielding a song with emotion and character you feel at every turn.
For more information, please visit Matt Michaelis' website.
Listen on Spotify.
Watch a Video about the making of the studio and the album.