Layering sounds with a variety of instruments, the debut album from Midnight Pilot is full of emotional textures that speak to the heart of Americana.

Having started out as kids making music in Holland, Michigan, Midnight Pilot spread their wings and headed to Nashville where they have put together their self-titled debut. The band is made up of Grant Geertsma (guitar/vocals), Justin DeWaard (Drums), Kyle Schonewill (guitar/keys), and Kris Schonewill (bass).


The album opens up with “Give Me What You Gave To Him,” which was also the first single off this release. The vocals reminded me of Damien Rice and David Gray with a touch of Tom Petty. Musically, Midnight Pilot hits home with catchy hooks that retain the art of storytelling through a song. There were hints of The Decemberists in this opening number.

While each cut on this 12-song debut is good, there are some standouts. “Elizabeth” features reverb-soaked guitar and keeps the Tom Petty vibe going. This would be a great cruising tune with the summer sun on your face and the wind in your hair. The smooth Latin groove with horns gives “Birds Fly South” that mariachi feel. The song continues to build up and surround the listener with strings, guitar, and cymbals.

“Let Loose” is a powerful song with a wonderful uplifting theme. It would make a great single. The music is upbeat and the message of being yourself is relevant for any age or musical genre. “Losing the Heart” features a great guitar solo filled with anguish. It captures the theme of loss so well and highlights some very tasteful guitar playing.

The album concludes with “By My Side.” This is a beautifully sad song from the opening string assemble to the bare acoustic guitar strumming. The vocal melody captures your ear with its alluring quality that is hard to describe. It feels like a lullaby, yet lyrics suggest loss. It is funny how the sad songs can sound so good.

Like a warm summer breeze, Midnight Pilot’s debut will make you feel happy and content. Kick your feet up, feel the warm glow, and enjoy this fine work of art.

Midnight Pilot – Album Release Promo

Midnight Pilot
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About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.