Birds & Batteries
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Birds & Batteries

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock EDM




"Birds & Batteries at SXSW 2010 for the ReadyMade Magazine Party at the Palm Door"

At SXSW 2010 we played the ReadyMade Magazine Day Party at the Palm Door with Everest and Sarah Jaffe. Here's some of the press and tweets that resulted from our performance there:

"Tom Petty-ish vocals, cheery riffs, gut rattling bass lines."
-Vanity Fair

"F'n loving Birds & Batteries. This might be my favorite band. Pocket, thump, funk, plaid, wicked."
- @mattmorris

"Birds & Batteries are ridiculously good live."

"Wow, Birds & Batteries is killing at the Readymade showcase. Best band I've seen at SX thus far".

"If Phish were good they'd sound more like SF's Birds & Batteries, playing now at the Readymade Party #SXSW"
- @m1keh0gan

"Birds & Batteries is the best band I saw at SXSW this year."
- Ben Yonas, Yonas Media - Vanity Fair, Multiple Tweeters

"Praise for "Panorama" (2010- Spune/ Velvet Blue Music)"

"5/5 stars"

— CDBaby Editor's Pick

"rare magic"


"good god, what a song"

—Portland Mercury

"sophisticated sounding electro pop"

—Loud Loop Press

"little gem"

—Future Sounds

"adventurous and perplexing"


"intriguing and alluring"

—Sacramento Press


—SF Weekly

"infectious live shows"

—The Owl Mag

"swooning nostalgia"


"always brilliant, and never disappointing"

—7x7 Magazine

"graceful and surprising"

—The Bay Bridged

"sonic craftsmanship"

—The Bay Bridged

"one of the few local bands that's pretty difficult to pin down"

—SF Weekly

"Birds & Batteries has definitely left a large impression on my year in music"

—Scoliosis Racoon - various

"Praise for "I'll Never Sleep Again" (2007)"

"A little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll, a little bit electronic and all kinds of intriguing pop." -The Onion AV Club

"Blending together hypnotic vocals and melancholy melodies, Birds & Batteries have combined the best of both worlds and successfully earned a place at the top in the Local Band ranks. With influences ranging from Daft Punk to Neil Young, the band is a nuclear bomb waiting to explode all over indie countdowns and the pages of Spin." -Zero Mag

"Birds & Batteries is an oddly appropriate moniker for a band whose synthy soundscapes seem to float effortlessly in the air." -Mother Jones

"We don't say this lightly, because there are really a lot of great artists coming out of the Bay Area, but we do have a current favorite: Birds & Batteries. We've been telling you about this co-ed quartet for a while now and our expectations for their new record were really high. Thankfully, its good news: we love I'll Never Sleep Again. It's still the B&B we met on their last release, but this time the woeful steel guitar and Mike Sempert's deep drawl are buffered by better productions. including warm bursts of synths so thick you could hold them in your hand. The record starts out by making the simple, straightforward Neil Young classic, "Heart of Gold" into an existential epic, and we love the song "Star Clusters" so much thats it's secured a solid entry in our top 10 tracks of the year." -The SFist

"There is so much detail and subtlety to hear in this album, it's near impossible to get sick of it. . .They manage not only to make each song mesh within itself, but the entire album is an unbelievable journey that has absolutely no potholes." -The Deli Magazine SF

"I'll Never Sleep Again makes good on the promise of Michael Sempert's first self released disc from 2005, Nature vs. Nature, fleshing out his bleary electrocountry songs with a warm studio sheen. The palette is a satisfying mix of synthesizers and pedal steel, with washes of sound bouying Sempert's undertow croon. It's hard not to hear a lot Neil Young in the Harvest-era balladry. . .with standout tracks like the Fleetwood Mac-ish "Turnstyles"taking up well-worn grooves remeniscent of '70s rock's mellowest highs." -SF Bay Guardian

"I'll Never Sleep Again is a damn good album - every bit as good as Nature vs. Nature. Although the previous album did amazing things with garage folk-tronica, the new album has kept the same general aesthetics but also utilized insightful production to capture and hone that sound."

"The songs on "I'll Never Sleep Again have a couple of things in common. First, the lyrics hint at existential musings and/ or social commentary... Second, the compositions are deceptively simple. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a complicated symphony of sounds, brought to you courtesy of a large variety of musicians and instruments...For those willing to give it a real listen, "I'll Never Sleep Again offers clever lyrics and sophisticated musical fusion." -Blog Critics Magazine

"While Nature vs. Nature was strong, I'll Never Sleep Again represents significant advancements in both production and songwriting. The new songs are ambitious, featuring dense layering of synths and effects, and Sempert’s voice is strong and commanding. Unlike many releases, the album feels like an album, with songs leading into each other and themes developing as the release progresses." -The Bay Bridged

"San Francisco's Birds and Batteries float in on a wave of synths on their latest album, I'll Never Sleep Again. "Ocarina" starts off with an 8-bit riff that takes me back to my Dragon Warrior days, cemented further with the "give me a song to remember the world by" lyrics. One of the most impressive things about this band, however, is their range, one that is not afraid to include some slide guitar on the title track, which in turn, makes them sound like a 21 century cowboy." -The Portland Mercury

"Electronic country meets Randy Newman-ish vocals? Now that's a mix we can get down with." -The Owl Magazine

"Their music draws you in, wraps you up then lays you down gently, lush with well-placed electronic elements that mingle with the woeful steel guitar. It sounds something like what I imagine Neil Young's Harvest could have been in an alternate universe, had it been recorded in an industrial warehouse rather than a Northern California barn." -The Seattle Weekly
- A/V Club, Zero Mag, Mother Jones, etc

"Praise for "Nature vs. Nature" (2005)"

"San Francisco's Birds & Batteries isn't just a standout local band, but one that could hit the national radar." -East Bay Express

"Tip your hat to San Francisco resident Mike Sempert, aka Birds & Batteries for making eccentric music without worrying about fitting into an easy genre." -SF Weekly

"This music has a gritty sound that could pass as either alt-country garage rock or fuzzy-synth psychedelia. No song remains completely in either category. Admirably, much of the album settles in that space between organic warmth and synthetic cool and feels right at home." -WC Performer

"Blending together rootsy Americana, post-rock and electronica, the stuttery programmed rhythms and hypnotic loops of arpeggiated melodies contrast well with Sempert's deep, melancholic vocals and guitar, bass and drums." -Aquarius Records

"I recently received a copy of Birds & Batteries Nature vs. Nature and have to say its one of the most unique and best things I’ve heard in quite some time. . .This album is a lo-fi gem that deserves more recognition that it found upon its initial release. Any label reading this should immediately look up Birds & Batteries and pick Nature vs. Nature up for a proper release."

"Birds & Batteries' Nature vs. Nature is trying to add something fresh to the musical lexicon, and I think they've succeeded. Especially considering that all the music on the album, all the layers of beats, riffs, melodies and harmonies, came straight out of Mike Sempert's brain."

"Synths and beep-boop fantasticism only get more overwhelming as Nature vs. Nature progresses. I'm not exactly sure what the band is try to do here, but if it's freak me the fuck out, mission accomplished." -Casey Jourman, music editor for The Willamette Week

"Birds & Batteries fold song structures like origami, then purposefully glue them rhythmic keyboard riffs and pedal steel chords." -The Weekly Volcano - SF Weekly, Aquarius Records, East Bay Express, etc

"Praise for "Up To No Good" (2009)"

"A bit like a high-concept mashup, this fusion of two of the slickest eras of pop production produces some polished results … an electronic landscape that's actually pretty akin to being out in the woods, immersed in a barrage of chattering, ebullient life"
- Pitchfork

"Like watching Halloween on a bunch of cough syrup and then having a dizzy and slowed dance party at the end"

"Meticulously funky … twenty minutes of synth pop bliss"

"Get ready for a new favourite band. There's the mellow and totally brilliant basslines you used to locate on a Bowie album, mixed up with the kind of gorgeous vocal harmonies Super Furry Animals had at their most Beatles-esque peak"
- The Recommender, UK

"Creepy keyboards I associate with Thriller ... worth sampling at length"
- Citizen Dick

"Early Brian Eno ... in their fine melding of electronic bleats and slow simmering pop"
- Pampelmoose

"Just plain good"
- Tokion

"Strutting electro-funk"
- Wonderland, UK

"Aural craft"
- Stereo Subversion

"Like a cinnamon roll melted in my ear hole"
- Perfect Porridge

"This is some freak-funk, alt-electro right here. Blast it in honkey-tonk dives and haunted houses alike"

- Pitchfork, FADER, URB, etc

"All Birds & Batteries Press"

Visit for all the latest. - --


Stray Light (July 2012)

Unfold EP (April 2012)

Remix of Peter Wolf Crier's "Right Away" (March 2012)

Remix of Toro y Moi's "Still Sound" (March 2011)

Remix of Still Flyin's "Higher Than Five" (Ernest Jenning Records, February 2011)

Remix of ARMS' "Heat and Hot Water" (premiered on, August 2010)

Remix for Oh No Ono's "Eve" for Internet Warrior EP (Friendly Fire Recordings, July 2010)

Panorama LP (Spune/Velvet Blue Music, October 2010)

Artist Portraits Compilation (Off the Air, August 2010)

Woodsorama Single (January 2010)

Up To No Good EP (November 2009)

The Bay Bridged Volume 2 Compilation featuring Rogue Wave, Emily Jane White (10" vinyl November 2008)

Thread Productions "Dragon Slayers" Compilation
Volume 2 (November 2007)

I'll Never Sleep Again LP (October 2007)

InRadio Compilation, "Moments in Movement" (April 2007)

"Selections from Nature vs. Nature" (November 2006)

Thread Productions "Dragon Slayers" Compilation
Volume 1 (November 2006)

"Nature vs. Nature" (July 2005)



Birds & Batteries is the experimental indie-pop of Mike Sempert with Christopher Walsh, Jill Heinke and Colin Fahrner based out of the Bay Area of California.

Birds & Batteries deliver rare visions and bold inventions, powerful tunes that meld the personal and the cosmic, analog and digital: music of shared worlds.

The Oakland band has been winning over audiences since 2005 with three albums and a mind-melting live show, and now they’re gearing up for the August 7, 2012 release of fourth LP, Stray Light on Eightmaps. The classic and funky synth pop album contains Mike Sempert's most inspired songs, distilled in the clarity of love and dreams of a fantastic future.

Touring relentlessly while also recording and releasing special gems, the band has consistently offered their audience music that is both modern and classic, effortless and crafted, and truly original.

They've shared the stage with Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks, The Cave Singers, Tapes n' Tapes, Two Gallants, Clues, Janelle Monae, The Besnard Lakes, White Williams, Telegraph Canyon, Movitz, Memory Tapes and many more.

Panorama LP (2010)
"always brilliant, and never disappointing"

—7x7 Magazine

Up To No Good EP (2009)

“A bit like a high-concept mashup, this fusion of two of the slickest eras of pop production produces some polished results … an electronic landscape that's actually pretty akin to being out in the woods, immersed in a barrage of chattering, ebullient life”


“I'll Never Sleep Again is one of the best things I've heard this year.”

—Future Sounds

For show dates, music and video please go to