Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers release first album

Joe Hertler talked with passion about writing a seminal track, “What It Feels Like To Drown,” on the debut album from Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers titled “On Being.”

“It’s about losing yourself in the moment,” said Hertler, a Lake Orion senior. “The title came from a photograph in the (University Art Gallery) of a big mountain-scape with ‘What it feels like to drown’ under it.”

After more than a year of playing songs such as “Ego Loss on Grand River Avenue” and “Devil, Don’t You Steal My Bicycle” to crowds across Michigan and the Midwest, the band is holding an album release concert at 9 p.m. on Friday at Rubble’s Bar, 112 W. Michigan St.

The Mount Pleasant event will feature performances from Prussia, Jetpack On! and American Opera.

The album will be released for purchase on Nov. 8.

Lower Peninsula Records and Bigger Brush Media, both out of Lansing, are issuing a limited release of the album on vinyl, expected in December.

Lansing resident John Krohn, Lower Peninsula’s founder, said the album has its roots in Michigan music in a similar vein to Detroit-area folk band Frontier Ruckus.

“It’s very much a Michigan record. There’s references to Michigan places, sports teams, etcetera.,” Krohn said. “It’s an example of putting Michigan out there as a place that inspires creativity.” Hertler said what he enjoyed most about the recording process was having a band to help bring the songs to life.

“I really felt that I enjoyed watching my band put themselves into the record” he said. “There’s little pieces of songs I know I couldn’t have done and I completely credit my band.”

This collaborative effort sparked many different ideas while recording, said Kevin Prichard bassist, producer and Lansing resident.

“No idea is a bad idea,” Prichard said. “There was no risk.”

Prichard used studio techniques such as reverse-reverb, which he said creates a sound similar to that of a ghost sneaking up on the listener.

He said the Beach Boys popularized this technique.

Electric guitarist and junior Ryan Hoger, from Commerce Township, said playing the songs live helped in the studio during recording.

“I’m glad we played the songs out live before we recorded them,” he said. “By the time we get to recording, getting the song down is the easy part. Then we can embellish the record with all the bells and whistles.”

Fusion Shows owner Irving Ronk said the album, from beginning to end, feels complete and full. Fusion Shows is a Howell-based concert promotion company and Ronk is Hertler’s manager.

“I like the way it came together as a full album. It’s rare to find that all the songs go together perfectly,” Ronk said. “It feels like the record was all done with purpose, which I think it was.”

Singer-songwriter Jeff Pianki, a Milford resident who has played many shows with Hertler and his band, said “On Being” has a very big feel.

“You can hear that the songs start out very slow and quiet and by the end of the song you just have chills and it sounds big and you hear so much going on,” Pianki said.