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Stateside podcast: The Best of Michigan Music in 2022

An artistic headshot of Joe Hertler. Light pink flowers crowd the foreground. Hertler sits behind them, wearing a matching pink beanie. One hand rest in his lap, and another holds onto the frame of the sunglasses he's wearing. His plain white t-shirt stands out against the neon yellow background.
Photo by Jakob Mulka
Courtesy of Joe Hertler
Joe Hertler is the frontman of Lansing-based band Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.

Michigan musicians released an impressive list of hits in 2022. Joe Hertler, frontman of Lansing-based band Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, stopped by and broke down some of his favorite Michigan-based bands and songs from the year. He created this mixtape so you could jam along with us!

1. "Snow In Montana" by Michigander

Jason Singer offered an ethereal Christmas ballad that pairs perfectly with its nostalgic music video.

“I kind of find Christmas music a little irritating sometimes,” Hertler said. “This song just knocked my socks off. It’s really good.”

2. "Respect Me" by Kaye

Charlene Kaye certainly commands respect, sporting a lime-green suit in the music video for this easy-to-dance-to song.

“She’s just this incredible swiss army knife of a musician.” Hertler said. “That song in particular is like this perfect culmination of the Talking Heads, St. Vincent and there’s a little Prince in there too.”

3. “lllow the Sun” by the olllam

This mixed-meter instrumental piece layers joyful Irish pipes, an upbeat drum, and a steady, droning keyboard.

“It’s this really wonderful combination of traditional music presented in a very modern and driving way,” Hertler said.

4. "Medusa" by GRiZ (ft. Wreckno)

Southfield-based artist Grizz is an old friend of Hertler's.

“He’s just really risen to about as big as you could possibly get for U.S.-based music,” Hertler said. “He’s really a leader in that scene, and exudes this positivity and really sets the standard for how to be a good human in this really wild world of larger-than-life dance music.”

5. "Easy" by May Erlewine

This mellow acoustic track encourages us to carry self-forgiveness into the new year. For Hertler, it's also a nod to musical simplicity.

"I think when I compare it to my own music, which tends very wordy and dense as far as arrangements go," Hertler said, "when I listen to something like this, it's a reminder to just strip back everything that's non-essential, and focus on the melody, focus on the foundation, and focus on the message. It's a perfect example of song writing."

6. "Everyone is Wasted Here" by Joe Hertler

Hertler of course had to plug his own band's latest work.

"That song in particular is about the feeling following a break up where your imagining you two just slowly separating,” Hertler said of this song. “I think the lyric is ‘the hardest part of loving is when the pain of the breakup subsides,’ and it’s just kind of that worry of like ‘wow we’re drifting apart, and we won’t forget each other entirely some of those memories will start to blur over time.'”


  • Joe Hertler, lead singer of Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, a Lansing-based band

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Additional music byBlue Dot Sessions.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.
Dan Netter joined the Stateside team as an intern in May 2022 and is a senior at Michigan State University studying Journalism and Social Relations & Policy.
Ronia Cabansag is a producer for Stateside. She comes to Michigan Public from Eastern Michigan University, where she earned a BS in Media Studies & Journalism and English Linguistics with a minor in Computer Science.