Singin’ in the Street: Jacob Sigman and The Stellars at Sonic Lunch
“It’s so easy to get set in your ways,” local guitarist and singer-songwriter [https://www.facebook.com/jacobsigmanmusic|Jacob Sigman]. “Playing with other people can create a fresh wave of inspiration.” Sigman, a Toledo native and 2017 University of Michigan graduate, will be showcasing his collaborative spirit with local band [https://www.facebook.com/thestellars|The Stellars] at Sonic Lunch on Thursday, August 17.
The Stellars accompanied Sigman on his latest single, “Think About You,” and the result is as infectious as it is funky. “Think About You” is an upbeat, summer-vibes love song that had me toe-tapping and grinning along to the lyrics: “Summer lovings, wishful thinking / dancing in the kitchen, singin’ in the street.” Sigman’s vocal style is a serenading pop/R&B style, so it was no surprise when he cited some of his musical influences like Bruno Mars, The 1975, and Theo Katzman, another U-M alum who played Sonic Lunch this season.
Sigman majored in environmental policy and French at U-M, but at the same time he was also acclimating himself to the local music scene. His former band, San Cristobal, played The Blind Pig, U-M’s SpringFest, co-ops, and house parties and started to gain traction on the Ann Arbor college scene. Sigman met the members of The Stellars -- Ann Arbor natives Dan Sagher and Erez Levin -- through their mutual friend and bass player, Sam Collins. Sagher and Levin’s old band, The Euphorics, ended recording under that name around the same time San Cristobal ended. Sigman and The Stellars started playing together shortly thereafter. It was through The Stellars that Sigman managed to meet Ben Factor, a performance arts technology major from the University of Michigan’s School of Music. Factor has been a crucial collaborator to Sigman as a tracking, mixing and lighting specialist.
After I prodded him about life after college, Jacob smiled and said, “There’s a lot of uncertainties. ... I’ve been thinking about moving to Detroit, and I want to start collaborating more with other artists.” According to Sigman, working with other artists is incredibly rewarding and leads to growth. I asked him about what his songwriting process is like, and he said he writes the hook first, and the lyrics and melody come together after that. “I make up ‘fake’ or unfinished lyrics, and sing the song first,” Sigman said. “I’ll go back later and add the real lyrics.”
Sigman recorded the Virginia EP when he was 17, and it features lush, orchestral compositions backing up his emotional and descriptive lyrics. Inspired by a trip to Europe with his five friends, it tells the story being lost in love and lost in a new place, uniting the two album Living Room EP and a handful of singles that can be found on his [https://jacobsigman.bandcamp.com|Bandcamp].
On Thursday, Sigman and the Stellars will be playing to an audience with a lot of new faces as well as familiar fans. It marks a change for these artists, as they leave their mark on the city of Ann Arbor, the city that made its own mark on them.
Oscar Calinescu is a desk clerk with the Ann Arbor District Library. He holds a bachelor's in anthropology from U-M and his interests include grammar and getting lost in the beat.
Jacob Sigman and The Stellars play [https://www.facebook.com/events/1221254407982977|Sonic Lunch] at 12 pm on Thursday, August 17, at Liberty Park in Ann Arbor. Visit [https://www.facebook.com/jacobsigmanmusic|facebook.com/jacobsigmanmusic] for more info.