At the end of May, MSU-Mankato band Navigating North drove through the night to North Carolina and recorded an entire EP, all in about 48 hours.
The members of the band—Hailey Johnson, Josiah Jorgensen, and Jay Seaser—originally met as part of a worship team in the MSU campus ministry, the Navigators. The band happened organically, says Seaser. “We just started jamming together outside of worship nights, and we developed a good sound.”
Though their roots are in worship music, Seaser says they’re more of a “coffee shop acoustic cover band” and don’t consider themselves a Christian band—or even as falling under one specific genre.
While Johnson and Jorgensen write their own music, the band also enjoy playing covers. According to Seaser, they like to play covers of bands who play music with Christian themes and might be Christians themselves, but who don’t explicitly identify as such—like Needtobreathe and the Oh Hellos. Covers of Bon Iver and the Lumineers can be found on their EP, as well as two originals.
As far as their live music, Navigating North have played at various coffee shops and cafes around Mankato. Seaser describes their music as “an outlet for us to express what we believe.”
Regarding the music scene in Mankato, Seaser says despite its rural location, there are all different types of music—from country to alternative—and a good blend of people. “There’s potential for a larger music scene, but there’s not as many music venues as I’d like there to be.”
For now, the band’s immediate plans are performing for a friend’s wedding and playing smaller gigs. The long-term future for the band is unclear, as Johnson is now at McNally Smith and Seaser is graduating soon. However, the band members have talked about recording a full-length album of original material.
Their EP—which was produced, recorded, and mixed by Mitch Froemming—is available for download on noisetrade.com, where they were recently featured in the “New & Notable” section.
“We’re not out to make it big or anything,” says Seaser. “We just want to make good music.”
Mackenzie Martin is a podcast enthusiast and senior at Macalester College, where she majors in media & cultural studies.