Born under the grey skies of England’s North Sea coast, DIY pop auteur Michael Docherty, has made his home in Tirol for two years now. Innsbruck’s vibrant arts scene inspired a creative rebirth for an award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who had fallen out of love with music (something he alludes to in his upcoming single, "Sleeping Dogs"). With a new city came a new musical project and a new name: Goalkeepers Are Different, named for a favorite childhood book. The name embraces being an outsider, an eccentric, a little weird. Since moving to Innsbruck, Michael has been thrilling local audiences with his delicate fingerstyle guitar playing, soulful vocal power, and sophisticated songcraft. Whether in spine-tingling solo acoustic performances or the warm, rich sound of meticulously self-produced recordings like the recent EP Late Gloomer, the Goalkeepers Are Different sound is a remarkable alchemy: unashamed pop hooks and big choruses carry lyrics of melancholy confessional yearning. In the tradition of artists like Nick Lowe, Marshall Crenshaw, and Warren Zevon, Michael smuggles the literary, the sardonic, and the emotionally devastating under a cloak of joyous melody and harmony. The introspection and imagery of the folk/Americana singer-songwriter tradition meets the heart-pounding sugar rush of classic pop. Goalkeepers Are Different exists in a parallel universe where Bob Dylan wrote lyrics for the Ronettes. Michael, though, is wary of genre labels. He simply calls Goalkeepers are Different “happy noise for sad people.” In Michael’s technicolour musical imagination, songs about loss and being lost, faith and trauma, ageing and death all emerge as cathartic major-key anthems for a better tomorrow. The message is simple: there’s always hope, and it’s in the music. Goalkeepers Are Different’s next single, “Sleeping Dogs,” will be released in October, and an exclusive in-progress preview mix is available exclusively here on UploadSounds. A debut album is planned for 2024.
"Sleeping Dogs" LISTEN
My dream is simply to be able to make music full time, to make my living as a touring and recording musician and songwriter. It’s taken me a long time to really believe in myself as an artist and now I’m ready to dedicate my life to my craft. This is what I care about more than anything in the world, my passion—perhaps even my obsession. Making music brings me such joy even when I’m alone, working on a track in my bedroom or figuring out a guitar part, but sharing it with others is what really matters. It’s about connection, community, being human. I’d like to be able to gig more widely, play bigger and more frequent shows, to entertain and move audiences across Europe and the world. Being successful in this year’s UploadSounds would be such an incredible springboard to achieving my dreams. It would help me connect with more audiences, and provide me with the resources I need to overcome some of the technical and logistical hurdles I currently meet as a DIY musician. Next year I want to release an album – I have over thirty songs ready to go. I’d like to be able to book some studio time to track vocals and guitar in a proper acoustic environment, and whilst I love producing myself I’d like to be able to engage the services of a mixing/mastering engineer to get my tracks sounding professional and radio-ready. In terms of my live work. Upload could make all that possible. In terms of my live performances, another dream is to expand my current setup of guitar and vocals to have a bigger, more varied sound, something that sounds more like my recordings. I’d love to have a band behind me, so I can give audiences these songs the way I hear them in my head. I love playing acoustic, but I yearn for a larger canvas to paint on. One of the most valuable things about upload is how it connects artists across genres and borders, so I’d hope that participating in Upload this year might also help me fulfil this part of my dream, by bringing me into contact with potential collaborators.