Satellite Pilot’s New Album Is A Whimsical Take On Modern Rock – The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Collegian Album Reviews Graphic (Katrina Clasen | The Collegian)

Loveland, Colorado, indie pop group Satellite pilot recently released their sixth full-length album, the eponymous “Satellite pilot. “The 11-track album shows the band flourishing in the era of psychedelic pop, their music a celebration of the past, present and future.

Satellite pilot The music is a captivating and whimsical version of modern rock that pays homage to the era of classical pop that defined contemporary music.

This influence can also be seen in the group’s bold aesthetic presentation in their clips for singles. “Hold it” and “Rocket,” in which each member wears a bright blue suit and matching white turtleneck, reminiscent of the promotional outfit of 1960s pop groups.

However, Satellite pilot isn’t limited to sounds of the past, incorporating elements of modern psychedelia and the alternative indie-pop sound of bands like Dr Dog, Fruit bats and Bahamas.

Powered by a harsh keyboard riff and bassline that seems to rise and fall like a buoy on a wave, the dense instrumentation of the opening track “Sharkfud” gives the colorful impression of a coral reef teeming with life. The tapping of the drumsticks adds an interesting percussive element to the first half of the song, taking up an otherwise empty place in the mix.

The choice of percussive elements is not particularly unusual, sticking mainly to standard drums and a tambourine, but their role on the album shows that the band have a good understanding of their importance in the dynamics of the music. .

In my opinion, the weakest point of the song is the sample with which it opens. While the inclusion of the sample is solid in terms of production, it adds relatively little to the song as a whole. The sound clips featured are separate clips from two news channels covering a shark attack, and while this works to establish the theme of the song, it’s not particularly interesting.

Having a somewhat unnecessary sample is a common occurrence and something that could be easily dismissed, but in this context it strikes me more than usual. With “Sharkfud”As the album’s opening track, the sample appears in the first few seconds of the album and serves as the listener’s first impression of“Satellite pilot. “

The second track on the album, “Hold it,” hastens to establish a cheerful mood with his listeners, setting the stage with unaccompanied percussion of a tambourine and bongo, quickly followed by a rush of brilliant guitars and a warm toned bass. As the song progresses, it maintains the constant rhythm set in its introduction even as the band unfolds into more psychedelic territory.

Briefly accompanied by a sound that closely mimics the pull of a cello, the rhythm plunges us into a sea of ​​sparkling guitars until it is pulled under our feet and the song dissipates into its outro.

“Shelly Holly” lays bare many key elements of ’60s pop, driven by a simple piano riff and prominent bass that just lies beneath the classical vocal harmonies. The band make sure to include subtle hints of weirdness outside of the unconventional lyrics, with twinkling electronic chimes in the intro and offbeat synth lines and muffled vocal samples sprinkled throughout.

I think the greatest disabling potential for potential listeners is in the exaggerated tone of voice, which I think is much more pronounced and direct in “Satellite pilot ” than in the group’s previous releases, especially in the songs “Sharkfud” and “House splicing”.

The nasal enunciation of each word is certainly distinct and eye-catching, but it feels a bit jarring and out of place. It may be an element of Satellite pilot which they are unwilling to part with – singers with unique vocal timbres are often controversial and very subjective. I would like to see Satellite pilot continue to explore the unique identity that the voice brings to the sound of a group without pushing the search for a signature voice beyond authenticity and falling into a gimmick.

While the album features consistently strong instrumentation, a highlight is undoubtedly its daring use of percussion. The choice of percussive elements is not particularly unusual, sticking mainly to standard drums and a tambourine, but their role on the album shows that the band have a good understanding of their importance in the dynamics of the music. . This understanding pays off in the album’s energetic and well-balanced tone.

Globally, Satellite pilot and their eponymous release presents a light and innovative combination of classic influences and modern indie pop to their audiences in a well-constructed and thoughtful way.

Max Hogan can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @macnogan.



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