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Satellites.02 was voted Rough Trade’s album of the month for August 2013 and can be purchased by UK audiences now, but the rest of the world will have to wait until August 2014. Hardly fair, but that’s the price that must be paid for living outside the UK. Johnny Vic himself the sole member of Satellites, also happens to live outside the UK, making his home base in Copenhagen, from whence he presumably crafted the epic Satellies.02.
Satellites.02 sincerely is an epic piece of work, taking the listener on a lovely journey of sound and vocals, poetry and prose, twinkle and starless dark sky. The best albums these days are, indeed, able to transcend their singles to become a whole body of work in the album itself, and not depend on one hitmaker. Truly the best albums throughout rock do the same, it’s just so much more of an anomaly in the era or the Youtube single. Satellites.02‘s singles could all be hits, with tracks like “World at Your Feet” sounding very much like they could end up on the new ipod commercial, but the album is definitely meant to be an odyssey of sound, taking its audience along on the adventure as the story unfolds.
Only true composers can put albums together this way, and Johnny Vic with his voice like Iggy Pop, his guitar style like Lou Reed and his composition following in the footsteps of Biran Eno AND Bryan Ferry, truly is a composer. He could write soundtracks or scores, but he chooses to write, perform, and produce Satellites.02. Videos have already been released from the album, including “Neon Sun, ” one of the more electronic tracks on the record, in which the Satellites.02 album art comes alive:
It’s a good thing Satellites.02 has gained so much acclaim in anticipation of its U.S. release, as Satellites.01, obviously the first album of Vic’ new project, was also rated very highly with Rough Trade. .01 a little quieter and folkier than its younger sibling .02, and it seems Vic’s got more to offer digitally in .02 as well. Stylistically one could say that Satellites.02 has more variations on its theme, and seems tighter yet more ambitious than Vic’s first venture.
Luckily for those in the U.S. and Europe still waiting for Satellites.02 to be for sale, the album has a fun, funky website from which all the songs can be streamed, and each track has the option of a studio or a live version. The player looks like an old analog 8track radio, and mimics the website (which is still working) created for Satellites.01. To see the progression from .01 to .02, it’s fun to listen to them both in full, back to back, before picking out favorite tracks for playlists. For the U.S., Satellites.02 can be pre-ordered on Amazon, and Satellites’ SoundCloud page also offers a few singles from both albums for streaming and free download, including “God Bless America, ” listed above. itunes and Rough Trade (mp3, cd, and vinyl) already have the album for sale for the lucky UK listeners who haven’t already bought it.
By Layla Marino