Michael Sempert's music is equal parts heart and craft; lifeblood and elegant design. He has composed original scores for award winning indie films including Love In Dangerous Times, Roads to Olympia and Sex Weather. His collaboration with Austin-based filmmakers on the indie feature films A Room Full of Nothing and Homestate yielded original film scores deeply rooted in cosmic American music. His scoring work with Portland-based auteur filmmaker, Jon Garcia draws from analog synth-based ambient music.
Sempert has scored TV movies Bixler High Private Eye (Nickelodeon) and The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. His original songs have been licensed for television by ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Netflix' Bloodline and many more. In 2015, Sempert and composer Peter Bayne co-founded West Channel, a commercial music house whose clients include Electrolux, Disney Jr, and Visa as well as the non-profits Change Heroes, Honor Flight and the UN Foundation.
Sempert graduated from the double-degree program at Tufts University and New England Conservatory of Music ('04) in his home town of Boston, MA with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition. While living in the Bay Area of California, Sempert led the band Birds & Batteries, writing and producing five critically acclaimed albums and performing hundreds of shows around the US. Pitchfork described their 2009 EP Up To No Good as "a high-concept mashup of two of the slickest eras of pop production."
Mike's first solo album, Mid Dream (2014) included the song "Finest Line," which was licensed for TV (Syfy) as well as viral videos accruing over 22 million views on YouTube. In 2015, Sempert released an album of instrumental electronic music under the moniker of Volcanic Legacy, with companion video-remixes of BBC's Planet Earth. His second solo album, Tend the Flame was released in 2017 and features the single “Distance”, which has been licensed by multiple TV shows and accrued over half a million plays on Spotify. Sempert’s third solo album, Reunion of Sparks was released on Infinity Maps in 2019.
His 80's inspired synth soundtrack album for Jon Garcia's pandemic love-story Love In Dangerous Times was released November 2020.
"an expertly tailored, absurdist fuck-you to the rom-com, and a ringing endorsement for the symbiosis of
editor Kyle Blair-Henderson and composer Michael Sempert."
"An inward survey of those intricate expanses between ourselves and others."
"This is a track I put on repeat and imagine a different story for each play through. It feels like a science fiction story put into music, and I have the pleasure of deciphering it."
--- New Classic LA
"To put it bluntly, I don’t know of a more talented songwriter in the Bay Area"
"Like a high-concept mashup of two of the slickest eras of pop production... ebullient"
"Synthesizer crescendos create a lonesome soundscape"
"So gorgeous I find myself playing it over and over again… Lulls you into magic"
"Linear forms with an emotional pop arc."
"High fidelity on both an intimate and epic scale."
"An absolute stunner."
"Epic art pop"
"Ripe with the flickering, rare magic"
"Awesome...and wildly unsettling"
“A little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll, a little bit electronic and all kinds of intriguing pop.”
— The Onion AV Club
"When Neil Young discovered the synthesizer, he made Trans. San Francisco's Birds & Batteries demonstrate another — dare we say better? — way that combination could have worked."