Friday Five: Joe Hertler, Modern Lady Fitness, DFRNC & Alexa Kenny, zagc, BigPlanet


Cover art for the albums and singles featured in the Friday Five.

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features an Ann Arbor-filmed video by pop-rockers Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, artsy indie by Modern Lady Fitness, hip-hop R&B by DFRNC featuring Alexa Kenny, percussive techno by zagc, and hip-hop by BigPlanet.


Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, "Marrow Dream"
Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers have long been a big concert draw in Ann Arbor, even when the leader called Lansing home. But now that soulful pop-rock singer lives in Tree Town, Hertler decided to return the love and shoot the video for his latest single off his August album, Pursuit of Wonder, in the Bird Hills Nature Area. MLive has a nice article on Hertler about his move to the city and the video for "Marrow Dream."


Modern Lady Fitness, EYKYE EP
The fourth EP in Modern Lady Fitness' Feast series feels more like a companion record to June's DARAD EP than it does to the first two releases, 2020's IWOWI and 2019's RAWAR—a duo that also makes for a perfect pairing. That's because the Ypsi trio started to move away from 1990s-esque indie rock after the first two EPs and started to embrace moodier, early '80s-style post-punk. I described DARAD as something that recalls "the icy early years of Factory Records where bands like The Wake, Crispy Ambulance, and early New Order played a kind of moody, spacious, punk-inspired, jangly art-rock," and the same spirit permeates EYKYE.


DFRNC featuring Alexa Kenny, "Hold Your Crown"
University of Michigan Performing Arts Technology senior Alexa Kenny and alum Christian Charley (aka DFRNC) teamed for this uplifting hip-hop and R&B track.


zagc, In Search Of
I always appreciate when artists write reviews for me, and Ann Arbor's zagc did just that on his Bandcamp page about his new In Search Of EP: "three percussion centered techno bangerz, music to listen to with your friends in the woods at night." But even if you're like me and are scared of the woods at night (and clowns), there's plenty to love on this EP.


BigPlanet, The Wi$e Man's Fear
I still don't know much about hip-hop artist BigPlanet since I last wrote about the project. But self-promotion doesn't seem like a top priority anyway; constant creation is the main focus, and this Washtenaw County teen (or teens) has now cranked out three albums in 2023, which followed two albums and several singles in 2022. The Wi$e Man's Fear mixes grimy beats, EDM, and a couple of appearances by fellow WashCo teen GVMMY—who is equally prolific and unique, which makes their pairing with BigPlanet a perfect one.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.