Last September Mike Vermeil dropped his debut LP, ‘An Event by the People, for the People,’ and is already back at it with April 2021’s ‘Anything At All.’ Four songs deep, and spanning no more than 13 minutes long, Mike Vermeil delivers all of who he is as a creative being. An unapologetic storyteller whose tales are forever cemented in an array of hooks and melodies.
Hooks and melodies are where ‘Anything At All’ begins as the lively “Bear Trap” opens the record with Elvis Costello vibes thanks to the fast-paced nature of how the lyrics and music all come together. It is one of those songs that you know is a crowd-pleaser, a song everyone eagerly waits to sing along to at the end of the night before the curtains fall, and the house lights rise. It acts as a nice bookend for the record with the title track. Both are more upbeat in tone, while the songs that hold up the middle of the record bring about another side of this Pennsylvania-based singer-songwriter.
I have always imagined the songs that inhabit the middle of any record as the meat, the juicy parts, and ‘Anything At All’ is no exception. “Really Nice Apartment” slows things down while putting raw lyricism at the forefront. It is noted that he writes for the 20-somethings dealing with the realities of life post-college, and this song highlights that. As for “Lazy Thief,” it presents the lengthiest track of the EP, as well as the one with the ability to time travel. See, there was something about the way “Lazy Thief” was laid out and performed that made me imagine a rock artist in the ‘50s as there was a sweetness but also an overall edge to it that was undeniable.
Mike Vermeil has over a decade of playing to his name as he spent much of his teenage years performing in an array of places including jazz clubs, and with local musicians. Having been able to step into a variety of venues and bands over the years, Vermeil has done it all from classic rock and roll to more current EDM styles, however, as a solo artist doing his own thing, he has carved out this beautiful sound that takes the heart and craftsmanship of a folk musician and approached it as an indie rocker.
Mike Vermeil writes with those his age in mind and knows all too well that reality isn’t always the kindest and isn’t afraid to feature those realities in his music. He hit it out of the park with 2020’s ‘An Event by the People, for the People,’ and has continued to raise the bar with this year’s ‘Anything At All.’ Those who love and appreciate music and artists who are genuine with their craft will want to take note of Mike Vermeil because from the sound of it – he isn’t going anywhere but to the top.
Written by Kendra Beltran