Michael Sempert

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Michael Sempert
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Born1981 (age 41–42)
Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Other namesMike Sempert
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Peace & Justice
  • Jazz Composition
Alma mater
  • New England Conservatory
  • Tufts University
  • Songwriter
  • Composer
Years active2013-present

Michael Sempert (born 1981; also known as Mike Sempert) is an American songwriter and composer for film and television. His film credits include the Nickelodeon TV movie Bixler High Private Eye and indie films A Room Full of Nothing[1], Sex Weather[2], Jaywalking, Homestate[3] and Roads to Olympia[4]. His songs have been used in the television shows Bloodline[5], Grey's Anatomy, Quantico and Gossip Girl[6]. Sempert is a graduate of Tufts University and New England Conservatory of Music where he majored in Peace & Justice Studies and Jazz Composition, respectively.[7]

Life and career

Early life

Sempert was born in Boston, MA and studied jazz and classical piano through childhood. His early influences include Talking Heads and Stevie Wonder[8] as well as the music of Thomas Mapfumo, Tom Petty, Squeeze and Weather Report.

Birds & batteries

After graduating from the double-degree program at Tufts and New England Conservatory in 2004, Sempert formed the band Birds & Batteries as the sole member and recorded an album of demos called Nature vs. Nature, which was eventually re-released as the album Selections from Nature vs. Nature[9] In 2005, Sempert moved to San Francisco and assembled a live band which included long-time members Brian Michelson (drums), Jill Heinke (bass) and Christopher Walsh (guitar). Birds & Batteries toured the United States extensively between 2007-2012 with festival performances at South By Southwest, Noise Pop, 35 Denton,, Mission Creek Festival, and Doe Bay Festival.[10] As songwriter, lead-singer and multi-instrumentalist, Sempert wrote and produced four albums and two EPs under the Birds & Batteries moniker, which received critical praise from NPR[11], The Fader[12] and Pitchfork who described their 2009 EP Up To No Good as "like a high-concept mashup... fusion of two of the slickest eras of pop production."[13]

The band's sound was a blend of electronic and organic elements; Sempert's voice was described by Daytrotter as "Tom Petty meets Randy Newman"[14] and "sweet, yet kind of bitter, and totally memorable."[15] The music of Birds and Batteries has been described as "difficult to categorize"[16] and the San Francisco Bay Guardian likened the band's sound to a "constantly evolving hybrid aesthetic... [that] contains robust, electronic toned folk-rock... experimenting with pastiche... that finds ways to craft strangely charming and captivating music."[17]

Solo career

In 2013, Sempert moved to Los Angeles and began scoring films and commercials.[18] He released his first solo album Mid Dream on the label Velvet Blue Music in 2014[19], which was described by the Bay Bridged music blog as "an absolute stunner"[20] and included the single "Finest Line,"[21] a song that was featured in the television show Defiance. In 2015, Sempert released an album of instrumental electronic music under the moniker Volcanic Legacy titled Uncanny Valley[22]. That same year he co-founded the commercial music house West Channel with fellow composer Peter Bayne.[23] Sempert released his second solo album Tend the Flame in 2016 which included the single "Distance," a song that was used in television shows Grey's Anatomy,[24] Quantico, Heartbeat and others. In the years following, Sempert scored the feature films Jaywalking, Sex Weather, Roads to Olympia, Bixler High Private Eye and the short films Stock[25], Dynamite[26], and A Seasonal Thing. In the summer of 2019, Sempert released his third solo album Reunion of Sparks.


Birds & Batteries Studio Albums[27]

  • Selections from Nature vs. Nature (2005) - LP
  • I'll Never Sleep Again (2007) - LP
  • Up to No Good (2009) - EP
  • Panorama (2010) - LP
  • Unfold (2011) - EP
  • Stray Light (20120) - LP

Solo studio albums

  • Mid Dream (2014) - LP[28]
  • Mid Dream Complete Sessions (2014) - LP
  • Tend the Flame (2016) - LP
  • Reunion of Sparks (2019) - LP

Volcanic legacy studio albums

  • Stray Light Remixes (2013) - EP
  • Uncanny Valley (2015) - LP



  • A Seasonal Thing (2019) - Short
  • Roads to Olympia (2019)
  • A Room Full of Nothing (2019)
  • Bixler High Private Eye (2018) - TV Movie
  • Dynamite (2018) - Short
  • Stock (2018) - Short
  • Sex Weather (2018)
  • Jaywalking (2018)
  • Homestate (2016)
  • Hey (2015) - Short


  • Grey's Anatomy - S14 E12 (2018) "Distance"
  • The Fosters - S05 E13 (2018) "What I Want"
  • Kingdom - S03 E01 (2017) "The Weather"
  • Bloodline - S03 E08 (2017) "For A Long Long Time"
  • Quantico - S02 E15 (2017) "Distance"
  • Heartbeat - S01 E06 (2016) "Distance"
  • Stitchers - S02 E04 (2016) "Distance"
  • The Missing Girl - (2015) "Finest Line"
  • Revenge - S04 E18 (2018) "Mid Dream"
  • Defiance - S02 E07 (2014) "Finest Line"
  • Gossip Girl - S04 E09 (2010) "Lightning (UTNG Version)"

Commissioned Works

Chamber music

  • (2016)The Villain for Clarinet Choir (for B♭clarinet and bass clarinets)
  • (2013) Uncanny Valley (for three flutes and samples)
  • (2012) One Tree Catching Light (for three flutes and samples)

In the media



  1. "'Princess of the Row' Wins Audience Award at Method Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  2. "Sex Weather". NW Film Center. 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  3. Malin, Sean L.; 1:45PM; Oct. 17, Mon; 2016. "Austin Film Festival Film Review: Homestate". www.austinchronicle.com. Retrieved 2020-01-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. Olympia, Roads To; Movie, ContributorThe (2016-03-29). "'Roads To Olympia': A Film With Impact". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-05-21. {{cite web}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  5. "Bloodline - S3E8 "Part 31" - Music and List of Songs". What-song. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  6. "Gossip Girl S4E9: The Witches of Bushwick". Tunefind.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Tufts Magazine Archive Online". news.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  8. Murphy, Tom (2011-03-30). "Michael Sempert of Birds & Batteries on Panorama and San Francisco". Westword. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  9. "Birds and Batteries: 'I'll Never Sleep Again'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  10. "Birds & Batteries Gigography, Tour History & Past Concerts – Songkick". www.songkick.com. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  11. "Birds and Batteries: 'I'll Never Sleep Again'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  12. "Birds & Batteries, "Sneaky Times" MP3". The FADER. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  13. Pitchfork.com, "Out in the Woods" by Birds & Batteries, retrieved 2020-01-09
  14. "Birds & Batteries - Daytrotter Session - Sep 30, 2010 - on NoiseTrade". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  15. "Get a Haircut in Birds and Batteries' New Video For 'Strange Kind of Mirror'". SF Weekly. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  16. Catlett, Stephanie (2011-03-25). "An Interview with Michael Sempert of Birds & Batteries". Little Village. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  17. "Meaning what?". San Francisco Bay Guardian Archive 1966–2014. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  18. "West Channel Music House". West Channel Music House. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  19. "From The Horse's Mouth: Mike Sempert on Mid Dream". Ghettoblaster Magazine. 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  20. Amable|April 15, Jody; Roll”, 2014|Comments Off on Mike Sempert releases “Oceans of Rock ‘n’ (2014-04-15). "Mike Sempert releases "Oceans of Rock 'n' Roll"". The Bay Bridged - San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  21. Francisco, About Sjimon Gompers Sjimon Gompers is based in San; profile, his blog is Goldmine Sacks full (2014-04-30). "Mike Sempert, "Finest Line" - New Music". IMPOSE Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  22. Francisco, About Sjimon Gompers Sjimon Gompers is based in San; profile, his blog is Goldmine Sacks full (2015-03-27). "Week in Pop: ACTORS, Landshapes, Macajey, New God, Volcanic Legacy - Chatter". IMPOSE Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  23. "West Channel Music House". West Channel Music House. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  24. "Grey's Anatomy S14E12: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Music". Tunefind.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. Kelly-Clyne, Luke (2018-12-11). "And You Thought You Knew Everything About Stock Photography". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  26. "Maceo Paisley | Tao of Maceo". Flaunt Magazine. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  27. "Birds & Batteries | Album Discography". All Music. Retrieved 2020-01-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. "Mike Sempert Album Discography". All Music. Retrieved 2020-01-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

This article "Michael Sempert" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.