By Victoria Roxanne Hill
Geographer released their EP New Jersey this March and have been on tour supported by Manatee Commune this spring. Lead singer, Mike Deni, has been working over the past year to create an album that embodies his upbringing in The Garden State.
I had the pleasure of talking to Deni before his show at The Parish yesterday. The interview was cluttered by outside noise and pedestrians during Manatee Commune’s soundcheck in the alley outside Parish. Despite being visibly flustered by distractions and forgetting several qustions I intended on asking, Deni offered very thoughtful and humorous responses.
Manatee Commune kicked off the show with lively EDM music. Portland native, Grant Eadie, is the face and brains behind this solo project. Part of his act is his backdrop which featured a projection of bubbles and film chemicals being mixed and other zoomed in obscure moving shapes. Similarly to Geographer, Manatee Commune has been to various festivals across the country including SXSW.
Shortly after Manatee Commune finished his set, Geographer began their set with Leaving the Garden State. They performed a mixture of old and new songs, originals and covers alike. A crowd favorite was Verona. Fans went crazy as he jumped to the front of the stage with the cowbell.
Deni switched back and forth between guitar, synth, cowbell and saxophone periodically throughout the set. First of all, I don’t know how he keeps up with all of these instruments. Second, his range (not only vocally, but musicianship in general) is incredible. Before the last song of the encore he announced that he was excited to meet with fans at the merch table.
The Leaving the Garden State tour concludes this month in California. Thank you so much again Mike Deni for the interview. New Jersey (not to be confused with the Zach Braff film Garden State) is available now on all platforms.
Check out the full interview on Youtube.
Featured images by Victoria Roxanne Hill.