Midnight Breakfast
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Midnight Breakfast

Portland, Maine, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Portland, Maine, United States
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Pop Soul




"Two iconic indie bands perform an unforgettable show at UMaine"

A concert at the Collins Center for the Arts (CCA) on Feb. 2 featured two jazzy alternative bands with equal parts soul and zest. Sammy Rae and the Friends headlined the evening after an outstanding opening act was delivered by Midnight Breakfast.

Midnight Breakfast is a Maine-based group of six dedicated musicians that formed in 2019. Lead Singer Jennifer Shevlin-Fernandes displayed an animated elegance at the CCA and I was immediately struck by her remarkably powerful yet simultaneously soothing voice.

The band’s emerging on-stage energy allowed their audience to view the artists as a cohesive unit. It is exceedingly clear that the members are in tune with one another, both figuratively and literally. Even their clothing appeared to match a color scheme that was consistent with the aura of their melody.

“Words cannot describe the feeling of being out there, returning to the place that started it all, and seeing many familiar faces in that crowd. We sincerely thank our old and new friends, every ear that’s listened and those who danced their hearts out on Friday,” Midnight Breakfast said. “In the last few years, the local music scene has truly flourished due to the community’s overwhelming support, and we’re so grateful to have been a part of that.”

Instrumentalists Benjamin Flanagan, Loren Pinkham, Myles Kelley, Evan Dickson and Reggie Kollman produced a strong sound with steady progression throughout each track. Those in attendance could physically experience vibrations as the tune built up. Shevlin-Fernandes had the capacity to hold notes for impressively long intervals.

“On my very first day on campus, I actually saw them perform at the IMRC and it was killer. It’s really great to see a band that is from the area, and they’re growing,” said Thomas Poling, program director at WMEB 91.9 FM. “They have a real electric energy going on.”

My preferred song on this set is titled “Hometown.” The music elicits feelings of summertime nostalgia. The succinct description of elements specific to being young at the beach matched the soothing instrumentals quite well.

Pinkham’s saxophone accompaniment helped to achieve a sense of tranquility throughout the number, which made me think of a quote by Stan Getz. “At its best, it [the saxophone] is like the human voice.” I found his notion to reign especially true in “Hometown.”

Sammy Rae and the Friends is an eight-member band based in Brooklyn, NY that emphasizes a theme of togetherness. Their sound is rooted in classic rock. The group has performed numerous sold-out shows across the U.S. and Europe.

“Sammy Rae and The Friends is definitely a source of inspiration for us, and they bring energy to the stage like no other. Going from being an audience member to sharing the stage and opening for them right before they jump back into their Camp tour is a highlight of our adventure as a band,” said Midnight Breakfast.

Singer/Songwriter Rae’s angelic voice has a unique twang, well-accompanied by an impressive vocal range with exceptional control. She took it upon herself to initiate interactions with the crowd. Rae even joined hands with an audience member in the front row. The entire band had a vibrant presence and moved around the stage so even viewers up on the balcony could tell that they took great pleasure in playing each song.

“Coming Home Song” was certainly my favorite on account of its uplifting undertones. Its lyricism alleviates the notion of self-discovery having to be an eternal struggle. I feel that the concept is to let listeners know that they have the freedom to become whoever they desire to be. I found the song inspiring, to say the least, and believe its anthem is excellent for anyone out there who may feel lost in themself.

The CCA proved itself to be an excellent venue for such dynamic musicians. The acoustics were crystal clear and echoed throughout the building. There were also beams of light that seemed to flash in accordance with the beat.

What most contributed to its positive atmosphere was the level of enthusiasm throughout the crowd. Fellow student attendees in particular were lively and visibly enjoyed the music as much as I did. - The Maine Campus

"Midnight Breakfast surpass all expectations on groovy self-titled debut album"

Released officially in 2021, but still as fantastic and inventive today, we’re loving everything about the debut album from Midnight Breakfast. Keep reading for a closer look into the record, in addition to a background on the band.

Currently based out of Maine, Midnight Breakfast are a 5-piece band specializing in a unique brand of indie soul music. Sprinkled in with plenty of funk, groove, and Jazz, their self-titled debut album Midnight Breakfast has quickly become a repeated listen for us. Bursting with passion and an insane display of talented instrumentals, we’re already patiently waiting for the band’s sophomore follow up. If this happens to be your introduction to their music, there’s no better starting point than here.

What originally started out for the band as covering “standards and funk tunes” eventually turned into the debut you’re about to experience today. Like so much great music, it was born out of quarantine and we’re obviously thrilled it did. Through 9 songs that span right around the 40 minute mark, our initial impression was just how cohesive and complete it feels from start to finish. Truly, there’s a signature essence and wholesome vibe that flows throughout it, slowly transitioning from song to song as you become more immersed into the vibe and atmosphere of it all. Choosing “Cheers to the End” as an opener was a great decision, mainly because we think it embodies everything else you’re going to get as the record plays on.

It’s most likely obvious that we’ve got nothing but stellar things to say about the instrumental portions. Specific tracks like “Hometown”, “Dirty Trick”, and “If You Comfort Me” were standouts, but you’d still be a fool if you didn’t listen front to back though. However, the vocals delivered here were seriously mesmerizing and fit the aura of the music to a tee. The amount of versatility and dynamic range she was able to accomplish through this album was beyond impressive. One of our favorite vocalists of all time is Rachael Price from Lake Street Dive and our immediate impression was how closely this vocalist’s voice resembled hers, but in a way that fits this music so much better.

Considering it’s almost been two years since the release, here’s hoping for more as soon as possible! Go ahead and familiarize yourselves with those links below to listen, follow along, and of course to keep up with all future releases. Enjoy! -

"Midnight Breakfast releases debut self-titled album"

Local Orono “funk and soul-influenced” band Midnight Breakfast released their debut self-titled album on all streaming platforms on Jan. 30. With a total of nine songs and a runtime of 37 minutes, the band packs a punch with easy, conversational pieces which paint intricate vignettes from start to finish.

Popular songs on this album include an optimistic “If You Comfort Me,” the intimate “I’ll Make You Happy” and “Bittersweet,” a fantastic showcase of instrumental improvisation and vocal command.

Midnight Breakfast consists of five members who are either currently attending or are alumni of UMaine: Jennifer Shevlin-Fernandes on vocals, Matt Donovan who plays guitar and bass, Benjamin Flanagan on bass and keys, Reggie Kollman on drums and Loren Pinkham who plays saxophones and keys.

Highlighting their most recent release within the context of their favorite performances at local Orono restaurants The Common Loon and at Woodman’s Bar and Grill, Donovan, and Flanagan, spoke to their beginnings and experimentality of composition. Both had significant roles in the album’s creative process, with Donovan contributing to the production and Flanagan helping combine the album’s instrumental and vocal aspects.

“When we recorded them, they came into their own life,” Donovan said.

During performances, some songs were seen as “explorative long jams,” while others were easy to pin down.

“Some of the songs, like the first track on the album, I can pretty much just always beat back to where it was, but pretty much all the rest of the songs [followed a relaxed form where] someone would take three times around the chorus and the rest of us will come in,” Flanagan said.

Similar to their live improvisational performance style, Midnight Breakfast relied upon improvisational techniques during the recording and production of their debut album, many songs left as a single great take using only themes from trials before.

“Most of the piano and saxophone you hear on the album is pretty like spontaneously improvised,” Flanagan said. “Very little of [the album] was predetermined, with the exception of ‘Biittersweet’ and ‘Comfort Me.’ ‘I’ll Make You Happy’ always has a different intro.”

During the composition process, the band took many different approaches, with each member adding to the progression and style, honing in on their own flair layer by layer until a finished groove would appear. “Somebody would come in with an idea or we’d be jamming and someone would say, ‘Oh, I like that idea, that little musical tidbit,’” Flanagan said.

“With ‘If You Comfort Me,’ one day, Jenn came over and she was like, ‘I don’t know how to describe what I’m hearing in my head, but she had written the first verse and had ideas for the chorus,” Flanagan said. “She didn’t know how to describe what she was hearing in musical terms, so instead, she just recorded herself singing all the parts a cappella… which really speaks to the level of musicianship [she has].”

Lyrically, Flanagan was able to speak for his and Shevlin-Fernandes’ composition process. If the band is not in a group session collectively brainstorming lyrics, or actively working lines and verses during a rehearsal in UMaine’s Black Box Theatre, Shevlin-Fernandes brings her own lived experiences to float upon the instrumental heartbeat of Midnight Breakfast.

“I think for Jenn, the majority of the writings have immediate real-world correlations, then she finds a way to sing it with words [that apply to] universal experiences to be more accessible,” Flanagan said. “In ‘Bittersweet,’ [Jenn found a] color that is associated with [her] memories, and this combination of feeling [created an image of] candles, bookshelves and corduroys [in a] kind of dream.”

Since the band and their music are still nascent, Midnight Breakfast is currently exploring what genre means for the development of the group’s musicality. Not wanting to be put into a box or schedule a self-fulfilling prophecy, the band is toying with the idea of an “indie” label but acknowledges that at this point, they are finding themselves selecting different categories each time a platform requests a self-identified, “opaque genre” as explained by Flanagan.

Still, Donovan credits Black American music genres such as blues, jazz, gospel and R&B for influences in the band’s feel, even if it isn’t directly apparent on the album.

“[Take] making a horror movie [as an example],” Flanagan said. “[When defined by a] genre, that’s like saying, ‘Okay, here are the steps you follow to [fit into that box].’ It comes with certain responsibilities. As someone who’s playing certain types of music, even if we don’t [label] ourselves as [this kind of] band or that band, we still are both in some ways.”

Midnight Breakfast credits their success from community support and involvement and dedicated their self-titled album to those who encouraged them from the beginning.

“It’s for the people that came to every show and said, ‘So when can I listen? When can we stream it?’ — I guess we should stream it; record it now. The amount of support around here is really awesome,” Flanagan said.

Currently, the band is seeing upticks in their listenership on Spotify in Western Canada in addition to their listener base including the Orono area, Boston and New York City with 620 monthly listeners total.

“Even that has exceeded my expectations,” Donovan said. “So now I’m just sitting back on the ride to see. If it doesn’t [exceed my expectations] again, it’s already beyond what I’m happy with.”

For more information on Midnight Breakfast, check out their Spotify, Soundcloud @midnight-breakfastmaine, Bandcamp and YouTube as listed as Midnight Breakfast as well as their Facebook and Instagram @midnight.breakfastme. To tune into their latest performance at Husson University’s “Overdrive: Full Saturation” benefit concert for the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter and latest music video, “I’ll Make You Happy,” visit their linkt.ree - The Maine Campus

"Sammy Rae and Friends befriend the UMaine Black Bears"

On Friday night at 8:00 p.m., the CCA hosted their second annual indie music festival with headliner Sammy Rae and the Friends, and the local band Midnight Breakfast opened the concert.

Madox Malaquias | The Maine Campus
When the Collins Center for the Arts doors opened at 7:15 p.m., the already long line of people began shoving their way into the theater and claiming spots up against the stage. With another 45 minutes until the show, the crowd was the only thing ready to go, as evidenced by the fact the stage’s projector was showing a game of Mario Kart being played backstage.

By the time 8:00 p.m. rolled around, the pit took up the first four rows of seating, and many more people were scattered around the room. Jackets had been abandoned over the backs of seats as the crowd chattered over the Simon and Garfunkel song, filling time before the show started. Browns, reds, flannels, denim jackets and every floral print you could imagine made up the room. The mood was eager and eclectic and filled with hugging and excited cries every time a friend was spotted across the room.

Sam Sworts and Jordan Farnsworth were among those lining the stage, both excited to be seeing Rae live for the second time.

“We thought we were going to have to come early,” said Famsworth.

Sammy Rae and the Friends has been releasing music since 2018 and has released two EPs. They are currently in the process of creating their first studio album, and despite being an indie band, they had no shortage of fans.

“I’ve been listening to them for a couple of years,” said graduate student Thomas Grindle. “I’ve been looking forward to this for months, and I’m sure they’ll live up to the hype.”

Rae’s performance was lively and constantly entertaining for the crowd. Between bits of synchronized choreography with the band, call-and-responses with the crowd, and playing hype-man during her bandmate’s solos, there was no shortage of energy during the nearly hour-and-a-half set. - The Maine Campus

"Maine Indie Fest: Maine music movement"

On April 15, 2023, the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine hosted a concert series of Maine-based indie bands. In collaboration with lead singer of Orono band Midnight Breakfast, Jennifer Shevlin-Fernandes, the goal of the performance was to bring different independent musical artists together and showcase the variety of sound produced in Maine.

“I felt there are so many wonderful opportunities for the local music scene to be involved with the university and performing arts venues north of Portland that hasn’t really been tapped into yet,” Shevlin-Fernandes said. “In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in new bands in the Bangor/Orono area, and we’d like to give them another platform to showcase their talent and attract new audiences. Furthermore, we’d like to bring more events to the CCA that students may be interested in attending and show that the university has much to offer outside of traditional ensembles and activities.”

The event has been in the making since November 2022 and is the first collaboration with the Collins Center for the Arts and local bands.

“In the past, musicians have collaborated with the University of Maine Student Government, Maine Day activities, and Homecoming events. Outside of the Maine Day Event hosted by Student Entertainment, I believe this is the first event at UMaine that includes bands from Orono and Maine only. The Maine Event usually brings in a big name from out of state,” Shevlin-Fernandes said.

The lineup consisted of Orono band Gnocchi and Midnight Breakfast. To round out the night, Rigometrics and Goldenoak came up from Portland to share the sound they’ve been crafting. Gnocchi had an obscure sound; their genres bounced back and forth from a Backstreet Lovers sound to a pedal-distorted Jack White sound. As an indie band, it is a bold choice to bounce around from genre to genre This is one of Gnocchi’s defining features.

Midnight Breakfast’s consistent soul and funk sound was more distinctive. The band expressed an incredible amount of talent. Rigometrics was equally impressive. It was interesting to see another young band like Greta Van Fleet try to reignite the Rock and Roll sound of the 70s.

The night was mellow. The auditorium was unfortunately not as filled as it should have been. Many attendees remained in their seats with the younger, more musically dedicated crowd taking the opportunity to jump up in the pit and dance. This was expected by performers.

“The event is more of a set performance, with each group having a specified time to perform. We don’t anticipate that this will be an event where people go wild; it’s a concert where people can sit and, if they want to, dance to the music playing throughout the hall. I’m sure the artists will be involved with the crowd,” Shevlin-Fernandes said.

Shevlin-Fernades also mentions that they would like to see more annual events in the fall since most UMaine music events occur in the spring. This is also something that local band Milk St. has been trying to do as well, trying to make local music available to a wider audience that aren’t limited to bars for 21 and over or house parties. Music is a shared activity that allows one to let loose and have fun; future events will hopefully inspire audience members to have the courage to have fun and dance.

“All of the bands are from all over the State of Maine. We felt it was imperative to showcase the talented musicians of Pine Tree State because we have so many! Three of the four bands feature current or former students from the University of Maine. This year, we are pleased to announce that 50% of the lineup includes bands that women front. I am passionate about having half the lineup led by women for this event. It is refreshing and exciting to see more gender diversity represented in an industry where diversity can be challenging to find,” Shevlin-Fernandes said.

It was surprising to see the amount of bands Maine has as well as the wide variety of genres they span. The four bands that performed were only a scratch off the surface of the Maine music scene. The desire the bands have to reach out to audiences in a rural state is the first step in creating a unique music scene and is resemblant of scenes that started major movements in the past. To be a part of the beginning is an indescribable feeling.

“We want to thank the Collins Center for the Arts for supporting musicians from the State of Maine, the technical and administrative crew, and the bands for their musicianship, kindness, and willingness to be a part of something so special, Kae Northway for the event artwork, the University of Maine for providing a space for musicians to collaborate and grow. For more information about the bands, please check them out on social media!” Shevlin-Fernandes said. - The Maine Campus

"Debut Album Features Vocals By Falmouth Native"

My mother-in-law commented on a bootleg Vampire Weekend concert T-shirt I was wearing today. It was from one of the last concerts I went to before the shutdown. I was reminded how much I miss live shows. Thankfully, we music fans have tons of new singles and albums coming out these days to get us through.

Some artists I know are waiting until touring is happening again to release new music. Others are itching to release music to stay connected with their fans and reach new ones.

Midnight Breakfast is one of the latter bands. Fronted by Falmouth native Jennifer Shevlin-Fernandez, the band just released its self-titled debut album. The band is based out of Orono, Maine, where all the band members attend the University of Maine.

Along with Ms. Shevlin-Fernandez, the band consists of Matt Donovan on guitar and bass, Benjamin Flanagan on bass and keys, Reggie Kollman on drums and Loren Pinkham on saxophone and keys.

I got a chance to catch up with Ms. Shevlin-Fernandez, a 2016 graduate of Falmouth High School, about the new album, her influences and what it’s like having to take a break from live shows.

LV: Who are some of your early musical influences?

JS: I grew up listening to a variety of artists. Some mornings I would watch VH1’s Top 40 Countdown and rock out in my living room. All that said, Amy Winehouse and Stevie Wonder were two of my early musical influences.

I had the entire “Back To Black” album downloaded on my iPod. Amy did an excellent job at telling her story. You can feel her emotions in her voice when she sings. It’s heavy but natural. “Superstition” is such a classic. Stevie Wonder acts like himself. It’s raw and real vocals. My current musical influences include Hiatus Kaiyote, Vulfpeck, PJ Morton, Crumb, and Lake Street Dive. A strong blend of R&B, soul, pop, and indie rock.

LV: What was the process of writing and recording your debut album?

JS: A lot of the songs on the album are fragments from various experiences in my life. I have many notes and audio clips on my phone with random lyrics or melodies that pop into my head. The writing process is more of a collaborative effort. I don’t know how to play an instrument, so sometimes it is difficult to explain exactly what I’m looking for in a song. In the past, I’ve recorded each part a cappella using Garage Band and just shared it during rehearsal. Everyone [in the band] is really talented and can pick up a part very quickly. We normally go from there.

The song “Hometown” is about Falmouth. When I was writing the song, I imagined driving down the windy backroads from Woods Hole to downtown Falmouth and the careless feeling of summer on the Cape. I couldn’t write this song without paying tribute to Pie in the Sky and their Monday night open mic nights, sitting on the lawn across the street listening to beautiful music. A nostalgic feeling, for sure.

The recording happened so fast. We had booked studio time back in March of 2020, and a week before we were set to record, everything shut down. Some of us moved back home while others stayed in the area. We decided to wait it out. When we returned to school in September, Matt asked if we wanted to record at his home studio. Since March, we hadn’t seen each other, so we were a bit rusty, but we recorded everything in two days! It was such an incredible experience. We were in three separate rooms, but all played together. We could see each other through the glass, which helped us really tap into that groove.

LV: Can you tell me a little about the name Midnight Breakfast?

JS: We’d been throwing around different names but none of them really “stuck.” Our university hosts a service day and concert every May, and that year we were invited to play. It was our first gig, and we needed to commit to a name.

A week before the show, my bandmate Ben came home one night and found a stack of pancakes in the fridge. He messaged the group chat and was like, “How do you guys feel about the name Midnight Pancake?” We thought it might be too silly, so we played around with some more names and ultimately decided on Midnight Breakfast. At first, it was only a temporary name, but then it just stuck with us.

LV: The pandemic has made life really tough for musicians, is there anything your band was able to do during this time that you might not have if you’d been focused on booking live shows and touring?

JS: Honestly, we took time to reset. We’re all college students with jobs and other commitments. We were able to slow down for a bit. I live near Acadia National Park, so I would go hiking and write whatever came to mind. It was pretty therapeutic but bittersweet because the ocean reminded me of home. Our original plan was to record our album in March and tour over the summer. I don’t think we ever imagined that we would self-produce our very first album. People wanted an album, and we had no way of getting into the studio. We wouldn’t have done it that way if the circumstances were different. Although we were unable to tour and perform live, we were still able to make music and that’s what matters most.

LV: Who is one artist you would love to collaborate with and why?

JS: I would love to collaborate with Rachel Price from Lake Street Dive.

She has such a great stage presence and seems so genuine and truthful. Her voice is so smooth and unique. Every time she sings, I’m just blown away by her talent.

Last weekend Midnight Breakfast headlined the benefit concert “Overdrive: Full Saturation,” produced as a live stream by the New England School of Communications at Husson University and benefitting the Bangor Homeless Shelter. The concert can be viewed on YouTube. Midnight Breakfast’s debut album is available now on all major platforms. For more information and to purchase merchandise go to https://midnightbreakfastme.bandcamp.com. The band can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @midnightbreakfast - The Enterprise

"Tiny Desk win could mean big break for local band Midnight Breakfast"

Midnight Breakfast is a funk and soul-influenced band that’s been making waves in the local music scene. The group consists of vocalist Jennifer Shevlin-Fernandes, guitarist Matthew Donovan, percussionist Reggie Kollman, saxophonist Loren Pinkham and pianist Benjamin Flanagan. Originally covering contemporary pop, rock and R&B works, they’ve transitioned into creating their own arrangements while working the University of Maine’s bar scene.

Their most recent move, however, could be one of their biggest. The band submitted one of their songs, “Bittersweet” in a competition to be featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

The series, which takes established musical artists and jams them in between cluttered desks and bookshelves at NPR headquarters to perform their hits, is opening up the platform to public submissions. NPR will crown a winner later this spring season, promising a spot in the limelight and eventually tour dates. This might be the big break Midnight Breakfast is looking for, and could help push their careers to new heights.

“If things take off we’ll go with them,” Shevlin-Fernandes said. “[ We’re] having fun and sharing with the world something that we love in a way that doesn’t feel forced or unnatural.”

“[The band] has become something greater than the sum of its parts,” Donovan said of watching the growth of the band’s music and influence.

As for their submission in the Tiny Desk Concert competition, Midnight Breakfast recorded “Bittersweet,” an original tune, on the UMaine campus. The song, like many others written by the band, was a collaborative effort and selected for entry based on its unique composition, as it doesn’t follow any prescribed lyrical format. For the filming of the performance, they chose a location that held special significance to the band members.

“Room 107 in 1944 Hall was such a great spot because we’ve all sat in there [for classes] so we were familiar with the space,” Shevlin-Fernandes said. Donovan joked that one of the contest’s stipulations is that there must be a desk in the shot and that by performing in a room full of desks they’ve got a one-up on the competition.

“It’s always interesting to see what the artists will bring to the space,” the band members said, noting that some of their favorite Tiny Desk Concerts so far have been Anderson Paak, Hozier and Rex Orange County.

The band also plans to add more of their own recordings to their YouTube channel in the near future.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the band at what seems to be a transitory period, as they had planned on hitting the studio during this time.

“Maybe it’s the universe saying I should stay in Maine for a bit longer,” Donovan said. “I’m gonna make as much music as I can in the meantime.”

Donovan had been preparing to move to New York to pursue a music career upon his graduation this May.

They also discussed how the quarantine has taken away a lot of the steam the group has been building, resulting in the cancellation of a show at Woodman’s, among the loss of opportunities the group had been exploring for summer gigs. All hurdles aside, the members of Midnight Breakfast seemed optimistic about reuniting and pushing forward with live shows this coming fall. - The Maine Campus


Bleeding Red EP - November 2023 
Burn Bus Single - November 2023 
Hometown Live at NESCom - December 2022
Midnight Breakfast Debut Album - January 2021
If You Comfort Me Single - January 2021



Midnight Breakfast is an indie-soul sextet from Maine. Initially covering pop standards and funk tunes, they recorded their self-titled debut album during quarantine and released it in January 2021. Midnight Breakfast blends groovy melodies, kaleidoscopic improvisation, and blissfully jazz-kissed vocals while exploring themes of love, self-discovery, and the universal search for meaning.

Band Members