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“Michiana” by Colin Peterik

Some artists aren’t able to pull off the retro aesthetic, no matter how dedicated they are to the medium, but this is anything but true of, especially when considering his new single and music video “Michiana.” While the harmonies in this track feel like something out of the 1970s pop/rock playbook, their soft presence is undeniably rather fetching beside the groove-laden beat in this song. Peterik has the swagger to do whatever he wants here, and while the track is relatively old school in style, its charm is hardly dated to a specific era in pop history.

The music video for “Michiana” has a very summery look, but it doesn’t get lost in indulgent sun-worship for too long. The soundtrack, after all, is what we’re after in this release, and Colin Peterik isn’t going out of his way to keep it from the audience at all. Contrarily, there’s as much focus on the narrative in the lyrics as there is any of the pomp we see on our screens here, and I would even go so far as to say as one is dependent on the other for our understanding the full level of charisma this player is swinging on two ends in this visualizer.

Lyrically, this single has a warmth that is born of both humility (on Peterik’s part) and a cathartic realization for the poetic protagonist that everything is wholly out of control in his life here.

There’s a self-awareness to this piece that immediately grabbed my attention when I was first listening to it this May, but it’s not so overstated as to create a sense of ego buried between the otherwise intriguing beats that this song is stacked on top of. He’s not full of himself, but this is an artist who knows who he is and what he wants to make for sure.

Another provocative element in “Michiana” is its fetching beat, which is used as a means of drawing us closer to the hook rather than just getting us swinging along with the verses. Peterik has a good relationship with the percussion here, as neither the instrument nor the vocal is competing for the lion’s share of the spotlight in the master mix, and in the grander scheme of things, I think the muscularity of the drums provides a nice contrast with the lush and leisure tone of the singing that this player is providing us with.

I have not listened to much of the music that Colin Peterik has recorded to date, but what I’ve heard I have thoroughly enjoyed, and “Michiana” is no different. This gives us a formula that I would like him to experiment with on the tonal side more than the lyrical end of the composition, but in either case, I think he’s onto something pretty incredible with the old school melodies and driving beat he’s capturing in the same track here. “Michiana” is indie without dispute, but it’s not self-important in the way many underground pop releases feel.

Mindy McCall



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