Concert Review: Wayne Szalinski and The Soil And The Sun

February 22 , 2014: The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Saturday was another wonderful evening spent in the company of some great local bands. We hit The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor to see old favorites Silent Lions and Flint Eastwood as well as check out some new to us bands, Wayne Szalinski and The Soil and the Sun. We’ve decided that since we have reviewed both Silent Lions and Flint Eastwood a couple of times here, we would write up something over at Bearded Gentlemen Music. So this post will be completely dedicated to Wayne Szalinski and The Soil and the Sun.

Wayne Szalinski (named after Rick Moranis’s character in Honey I Shrunk the Kids) opened the night. Their sound reminds me a bit of the newest stuff from Hellogoodbye, mostly because lead singer Andy Milad’s voice has a lot of similar qualities to Forrest Kline’s. The first impression I got of the band was that it kind of felt like a jam session, but a great jam session. The guys were relaxed on stage and the sound was filled with bright guitars that made it easy to forget about the piles of snow outside the venue and focus on the summer that’s to come. My favorite song that they played was probably “A Study In Perspective”, a math rock infused indie gem which I’ve been listening to ever since Saturday. Their energy was great and Andy was comfortable and engaging with the crowd, all in all a wonderful way to start the evening.

The Soil and the Sun closed the evening with a nice, mellow set. With 7 people on stage, there wasn’t much room for the band to move around but that didn’t stop them from expressing their love for what they do. With keyboards, a violin, drums, guitars, a bass and an oboe you might think that there would be too much going on but their sound is lush and methodically constructed to create perfect musical arrangements. Their music can be very ethereal and haunting at times and even at it’s most lulling there is still a lot of energy coming from the group. There is definitely some experimentation going on sound wise, but The Soil and the Sun never leave the listener feeling like their music is not accessible. There’s a lot of talent here and I wouldn’t be surprised if 2014 was the year these guys broke out.

The night was filled with great local music and I would definitely check out all the bands again. One of the best things about writing this blog is all the amazing local music that I’ve discovered and Saturday night was no exception.

You can grab music from both bands on Bandcamp:
Wayne Szalinski’s The Fondly Truly EP and Wayne Szalinski EP are both name your price.
The Soil and the Sun’s album What Wonder is This Universecan be purchased digitally ($10), on vinyl ($20), and CD ($15).