Jason Singer has been performing as Michigander for nearly 10 years. He’s released a song that has been streamed more than 10 million times, he’s performed at Lollapalooza and shared stages with Band of Horses, Mt. Joy and Hippo Campus. But he feels he’s still not ready to record a full-length album.

“There’s some contractural reasons why, but personally I didn’t think I was ready to do a full record,” he says regarding the decision to make his fourth release, “It Will Never Be The Same,” which came out in March, another EP. “All my favorite bands, their debut records are so good, like The Killers or Coldplay or Oasis, their first records are undeniably great records. To hear a band’s first record, that’s what they made first, it’s pretty cool and exciting. Whenever I make my first record, that’s when I think people really start paying attention, when you give them a full album. I think that would be pretty cool to make sure my record can stand along those.”

While a full-length album will have to wait, the new EP represents some important firsts. It’s his first release since the Michigan native and his wife moved to Nashville. It’s also the first time he’s worked with outside writers, including Danen Reed Rector (Charlotte Sands, James Droll) Sean McConnell (Tim McGraw, Little BigTown, Brad Paisley) and Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional.

“I don’t know if it was like a total conscious decision to do it,” says Singer in advance of headline shows at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday, April 21 and The Foundry in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 23. “It was just something I learned about, cowriting and what works and what that world looks like, and it became something that became pretty important to the songs.”

He also worked with Manchester Orchestra, who he has toured with, on the song “In My Head.”

“There are obviously some bigger-name collaborators on there, and that’s a dream come true. Manchester Orchestra is one of my favorite bands. Seeing that collaboration on my record when I hold the vinyl is kind of surreal. With Manchester Orchestra, I had this voice memo of this pretty loose idea and thought this might be good, it might fit with them.”

As with “Cannonball,” where he worked with Carrabba, part of the reason to collaborate was simpler than that: “This is a really exciting song that I’m working on, and I know you guys are just good at writing songs in general.”

“It’s really cool,” he added. “Especially that folks that have a career and are quite unquestionably legit in their own right, those folks don’t have to do that. They don’t have to spend two days with me and make a song. They don’t have to spend any time with me, that’s not required of them at all. That feels very reassuring. It’s very validating for me to think I must be doing something right.”

Last fall, Singer broke his leg while filming the video for “Superglue,” which delayed the release of the EP. He was knocked out of commission from September through November, which also wiped out tour dates. But he made the best of it, pivoting to make the video about the injury.

“It kind of ruined everything, I thought at the time,” he says. “But because of my tragedy, maybe more people heard my music and my story. Maybe looking back I’ll be happy that it happened, but it was pretty terrible.”

Singer is excited to be back on the road, noting: “The best part of the job for me is playing the shows because that’s where you feel the instant gratification.”

Speaking about fans coming to see him, he sounded as thankful and nearly incredulous as when discussing the A-listers who have chosen to work with him.

“It’s crazy that there are people around the country paying $20 plus fees, and we love fees, parking, driving, it’s such an inconvenience to go to a show, and I’m aware of that. To know that people are inconveniencing themselves to stand in a packed room is crazy. And it’s the first tour where we’re selling real tickets, 500 tickets sold in Chicago, 400 in St. Paul. I used to play to nobody in living rooms and the corners of coffee shops. After putting the time in, it’s pretty gratifying and also wildly humbling.”

Photo by Hannah Hall

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