Rising up on West Michigan’s radiant musical horizon, Grand Rapids quintet All Is Well hopes to shine a light for those in search of inspiration, solace or hope with the release of its first full-length album, Someday I Swear.
“(The album title) speaks so loudly of what we believe as a band — that everyone has a purpose and we should do our best to help each other realize and fulfill that purpose,” said drummer Nathan Coles. “As a band, we really felt that these words brought the album together very well, being emotionally honest and present, while also being energized to take hold of the future with a fresh determination.”
Formed in early 2015, the members of All Is Well met through mutual friends and past musical projects. The band started to take shape nearly two years before that around Coles, bassist Nick Van Slett and keyboardist Hannah Van Slett, but didn’t solidify until guitarist/vocalist Nate Krikke and guitarist/vocalist Erik Rice joined the following year.
“Originally, our sound was reminiscent of bands like My Epic and Polyenso,” Nick Van Slett said of the band’s beginnings. “But when all five of us started writing for our first EP (2015’s Nocturnes) together, our sound began to dynamically evolve. The writing process was initially slow because we were learning so much about our different writing styles and figuring out where we wanted our sound to go … (but) our sonic elements now incorporate similar sounds to Foxing and From Indian Lakes.”
Taking broad influences from bands as sonically diverse and emotionally raw as Sigur Ros and Brand New, the band considers its intricate, melodic music to fit underneath the broad indie/alternative umbrella. Altogether, the band members take delicate touches from math-rock, prog-rock and even R&B amidst a luminescent array of finger-tapped guitars and shifting time signatures, all without losing sight of the emotion of the songs.
“We hope that we bring something new to the music scene,” Van Slett said. “Our writing process has tended to be orchestral, often putting melody in front of lyricism, and has really challenged us to continue learning and growing as musicians. We really believe that in this process, our music takes its own journey, creating a soundscape that typically shies away from song structure formula.”
All Is Well’s previous EP, Nocturnes, earned two nominations from WYCE’s Jammie Awards in 2016 and helped land the band shows everywhere from house venues to bars, coffee shops and school-sponsored events, including this year’s WYSTOCK at Hope College, where it headlined.
“We carry a lot of different elements in our music and fit in pretty well with the diverse local scene of Grand Rapids,” Coles said. “We’ve done well playing in lineups incorporating varieties of rock, emo, modern jazz, post-punk, and even with folk/acoustic acts.”
With such a complex sound, All Is Well spent a lot of time carefully recording its upcoming full-length album. Half do-it-yourself (DIY) and half professionally crafted, the band teamed with Nick Diener, who mixed the album at Oneder Studios in Saginaw, and turned to Mark Michalik for mastering.
“Music has meant so many things to each of us individually,” Van Slett said. “It has helped all of us through dark times within our lives and still serves as a medium that is very therapeutic, comforting and nostalgic. … For us as a band, it is a way to identify and connect with each other, to transcend our personal limits and to connect our emotions collectively.”
All Is Well will continue to tour on weekends for the next month and a half in support of the album, with several dates lined up for the fall, including an all-indie showcase at the Park Theatre in Holland on Oct. 13.
Hear songs from the band at alliswellmi.bandcamp.com
All Is Well I Swear Someday Album Release wsg. The Fever Haze, Moses, Cheap Emotion
The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Aug. 19, 7 p.m., $10–12, all-ages
pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758