Brandon Wiard and The Saviors
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Brandon Wiard and The Saviors


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




"...nice production work throughout ..." - ALL MUSIC GUIDE


"...Rilo Kiley in their 'Takeoffs and Landings' days but if Jenny Lewis was John Mayer. And rocked harder...I'm surprised I haven't heard this on the the radio before."


"Painting A Burning Building only confirms what I knew all along, Brandon Wiard is a masterful songwriter who isn't afraid to take chances in the studio, chances that are bound to pay off." - THE PIT MONTHLY (FLINT, MI)


"Painting A Burning Building is a stunner-hook laden and sonically intricate, while never obscuring Wiard's unusual melodies and heartfelt evocative songs...12 tracks represent a singer and a songwriter of unusual depth and talent. Ranging from lush sea chanteys to heart-shattering love songs, the record exceeds the sum of its considerable parts." - ANN ARBOR NEWS (ANN ARBOR, MI)


"WOW! Love when these great CD's arrive out of the blue---never heard of Wiard, but we`re hoping all you will soon be 'hep' to this impossibly ambitious and catchy affair. Fans of Matthew Sweet, The Lemonheads, The Candy Butchers, classic Elvis Costello and Teenage Fanclub pay attention, please. Wiard has a firm grasp on melody and orchestration but there is song-after-song of sucker punch surprises with felicitous, wholly satisfying hooks laying the foundation."

-Bruce Brodeen - NOTLAME.COM


"Top notch all the way." - AIDING AND ABETTING


"...bright and breezy slice of pop that contains as much melody as a Hershey bar contains life-threatening levels of sugar, you won't consume any better than this."


"A fantastic album that ought to put him on the map..."

Rating: 8.1 out of 10
(Highest of the day) - PITCHFORK MEDIA


"Boy genius or master pop craftsman? Wiard is all of the above."


When he was in the fourth grade, Brandon Wiard’s teacher asked the class to draw a picture of what they hoped to be when they grew up. Wiard’s result: a 9-year old’s crayon rendering of a country-western singer.

He wasn’t far off the mark. At just 22, Wiard, a Saline native, is quickly making a name for himself not as a country crooner, but as a pop-music singer-songwriter of a caliber that defies both his youth and his quiet nature.

He’ll perform a coming-out party of sorts on Saturday. Early in the evening he’ll do an acoustic show at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom that will be followed by a gig at Leopold Bros. brewpub, backed by an all-star (locally speaking, anyway) band featuring guitarist Greg McIntosh and drummer Fido Kennington, both from The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love, and Dave Gerow on bass.

The full-band lineup will allow Wiard, who has been playing solo sets exclusively for the past year or so, to achieve a closer approximation of the sonically rich, textured work found on his 2001 release, "To Someone I Know."

"It’s nice to have the songs come to life after playing solo for so long," the chronically low-key singer said. "It’s harder starting off, because I have this whole catalog of songs that I can just pull out and play on my own."

"But with these guys, I can have an idea in my head and can convey to them what I’m trying to do, and they can pick it up immediately."

Always artistic, Wiard found his first media in the visual arts, primarily photography and paints. It wasn’t until he wrote a song during his sophomore year at Greenhills School and worked with a friend to set guitar chords to it that music began to assert itself onto his artistic consciousness.

Within a year, he had formed his first band, the Lamonts, with his high school friends. Originally it was a ska band, but Wiard’s consuming passion for ‘60s-influenced pop music eventually turned the band on its ear and set Wiard on a distinct musical path. By this time, music had all but taken over his artistic pursuits.

"Music is 95 percent of my creative output these days," said Wiard, who still enjoys designing his own gig posters and T-shirts, while contributing collages and photos to his Web site (

"I just find that music is tangible—it can be instantly absorbed and more easily consumed and ideas are more effectively conveyed than in visual art," he said. "To me, it is more satisfying."

After the Lamonts split up, Wiard teamed with another Greenhills friend, Eric Sloat, to form Star Motel. The band combined Sloat’s indie edge with Wiard’s still-smoldering pop sensibility and the pair—already with lofty ambitions—recorded what was to be a three-song demo to shop around their songwriting talents.

When Sloat split to attend college, Wiard took the demos they’d completed, and fleshed them out with his own tunes to spend his college endowment in the studio. The resulting album, "To Someone I Know," is a mini-masterpiece of lush, smart songs, anchored by Wiard’s already impressive songwriting skill, but given flight by his keen studio sense.

He and engineer Gregg Leonard drape the tunes in washes of multiple guitars, while stacking harmonies upon harmonies.

"It’s challenging to work with someone who has so many ideas and wants to try so many things," said Leonard, a staff engineer at Ann Arbor’s Big Sky Studio. "But it’s fun and exhilarating and Brandon has a great sense of what’s going to work and what isn’t."

The recording studio, it seems is Wiard’s new canvas.

"If I could be in the studio every day I would be," said Wiard, adding that he’s 70 percent done with the follow-up CD he’s recording at Big Sky. "It’s just one of those financial things that’s a down side to music; you’re limited by your own budget unless you’re doing it all by yourself. If I had a chunk of money, (the new record) would have been done in matter of months."

While still a bit of an unknown commodity around Ann Arbor, Wiard has achieved a considerable following around Detroit—thanks to high-profile opening slots with The Church, Divine Comedy and The Ours, among others—while also finding pockets of fans across the country.

"He’s a great songwriter," Leonard said. "There’s great melodies and very smart lyrical content."

"And he’s prolific. He’ll go get his oil changed and come back with a song about it—except the song will be about the girl who worked at the oil-change place and broke his heart."

Wiard admits to a talent for conveying romantic angst into songcraft. Yet he insists he’s still growing as a writer

"I’m learning to be bitter," he deadpanned.

After the Leopold gig, Wiard is off for a two-week tour of California with fellow popsters Ozma. Later in January, he’ll tour the East Coast, where he’s gained some interest among the indie labels.

"I have small pockets of fans spread out over a great distance," he said of the tour schedule. "It’s neat when you ha - ANN ARBOR NEWS (ANN ARBOR, MI)


To Someone I Know-LP-November 2001
D Is For Demo-EP-February, 2002
True Love Was A Lie- EP-November 2002
That's Cute-EP-January 2003
Super Secret Double Awesome Japanese Import B-Side Collection-LP-November 2003
Painting A Burning Building-LP-July 2004



PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING is the latest release from Ypsilanti-based indie-pop standard-bearer Brandon Wiard, his third solo release to date.

PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING was tracked at Big Sky Studios (Ann Arbor, MI), Pop Squad Studios (Hollywood, CA) and Studio C (Grand Rapids, MI). The entire album was mixed at Big Sky Studios (Ann Arbor, MI) and mastered at Sound on Sound Recording (New York, NY).

“I‘m learning to be cynical...” Brandon Wiard dead-panned to a reporter. This would most likely be the “effect” to the “cause” found on his latest epic-release PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING. Tales of love, loss, growing up and hope penned by this 24 yr. old “boy genius”. Lush indie-pop intended for tight-fitting headphones and attentive listening.

PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING’s charm lies within it’s chameleon like approach to songwriting/production. Songs like “Already In Amazement” (temptations of an “other woman”), “Since You’ve Gone Away” (loss of friends/family/love) and “Moving On” (relationship’s end) lean more on the Cars-esque rock tendencies with squealing synth/chunky guitars. Then you have the Costello-ed “I’ll Write These Songs” (generational gap), the soulful “Permanent Smile” (growing up), the Sebadoh-ed rocker “KMS” (office-crush) and the Old 97’s/Built To Spill thriller “Loose Women” (the title says it all). Once we arrive at the end of the disc things take a turn for the Brian Wilson. “Old Heartless Sun” (voyage gone wrong) is a proggish electro-sea chantey. “Second Story” (secret admirer) is a warm Wilco-esque tune that goes into a “KMS” reprise and then an extremely somber sound collage. “Seeing You In No Time” (train-wreck and suicide) is another proggish tune which goes into a “Since You’ve Gone Away” reprise and yet another atmospheric sound collage that ends the album. Hidden in the mixes on this masterpiece are members of Ozma, The Singles, The Verve Pipe, Blues Traveler, Saturday Looks Good To Me and The Original Brothers and Sisters Of Love.

It all started singing Hall & Oates' "Maneater" in a stroller at JC Penney's...Brandon Wiard was born into a family of apple growers in a small Michigan town but he always knew he’d make his own path. Art was his passion but music had to fill his ears 24 hours a day. He was an addict. When there was no radio in sight he would simply replay songs he knew in his head to get his fix. You can only be an addict for so long before you start dealing. It was in the middle of his sophomore year of highschool (prep. school...unfortunately he only focused on art/English/Latin) that some friends wanted to form a band and Brandon became the singer-songwriter for the group. The group wasn’t very good so Brandon quickly formed a new group, with friend Eric Sloat, and dubbed the project "Starmotel". A mix of indie-rock and classic pop sensibility, the band meandered over the next three years.

Eventually Eric left for college and Wiard started his solo career in the fall of 2001. TO SOMEONE I KNOW, a collection of his own songs and some co-written with Sloat, was independently released in November 2001. In lieu of having a band he performed his arsenal of songs with just an acoustic guitar and a golden throat. In between the 2 albums Wiard released SUPER SECRET DOUBLE AWESOME JAPANESE IMPORT B-SIDE COLLECTION, a collection of 17 solo and band demos. To date he has opened for the likes of such acts as Mason Jennings, David Dondero, Hey Mercedes, Clem Snide, Joseph Arthur, Mike Watt, Ours, The Church, The Divine Comedy, Ryan Cabrera and many others. He has toured nationally, playing such venues as The Knitting Factory (Hollywood, CA), Maxwell's (Hoboken, NJ), Clutch Cargo’s (Detroit, MI) and The Bluebird Theater (Denver, CO). He has just played the 2004 Midpoint Music Festival (Cincinnati, OH), Dewey Beach Music Fest (Dewey Beach, DE) and M.E.A.N.Y. FEST 2004 (New York, NY). His self-created video for “Miss Michigan” (feat. Andrew WK) received heavy play this fall (nationwide and on MTV Latin America) and PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING reached #179 on the CMJ charts (was 16th most added it’s first week).

Brandon has assembled a group dubbed The Saviors (feat. Patt Cowger {bass, backing vocals}, Adrian Robles{lead guitar, backing vocals} and Fido Kennington {drums, backing vocals}) and has been performing tracks from PAINTING A BURNING BUILDING with the same tenacity he put into recording them.

“Catch him while he’s catchable” as one reporter put it.