Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve had the pleasure of listening to two of Satellite Train’s latest singles: Shameless (released 20 January) and Superstar (released 17 March).
We were thrilled to have the sound of Satellite Train in our ears again today – especially twice! Their debut single, Lies, blew our socks off, and then they followed it up with Broken Heart – equally impressive.
Satellite Train features a talented lineup of musicians from both Australian and American bands, such as Michael Paynter of Icehouse, John Watson of James Reyne, John McCall of The Black Sorrows, Shane O’Mara and Randy Jacobs of Paul Kelly, Pasquale Monea of Stephen Cummings, Jamie Muhoberac of John Mayer, Chris Chaney of Miley Cyrus, and Gregg Bissonette of Ringo Starr.
Shameless is the lead single taken from the band’s “Spacewalk” collection and features the jaw-dropping vocals of Icebox’s vocalist, Michael Paynter.
Shameless starts with bright and clean guitar with a gorgeously thumpy and bright kick drum. The song builds superbly and drops back to guitar and vocals for the first verse, giving Paynter the chance to display the softer, intimate side of his vocals. Layered vocals join the mix, and make the voices sound huge.
Throughout the track, as we’ve come to love of Satellite Train, there is plenty to listen to: lots happening and lots of different sections to not only maintain the listeners’ interest but positively enthral them. The rise and fall create superb dynamics, and the occasional stop thrown in creates a great tension and release.
As you would expect of such a seasoned vocalist, the lead vocals are powerful and strong and have a vast range. There is just as much power in the low notes as there is in the belted high notes.
The drums take on a 16-beat Britpop feel and add to the interest of the track, and there are patches where the song takes on a slight country feel – the brief guitar solo, for example, as well as the build in the intro.
A fake ending feel leads to a key change that makes the track feel positively euphoric. Satellite Train really do have it all here. With seasoned pros and excellent songwriting, this track’s production is also outstanding. Smiles and nods all round from the Send Me Your Ears team!
Superstar is the debut single from the Melbourne Sessions. We love that Satellite Train are breaking the conventional rules of song releases here. These two tracks are from two different collections, and whilst both are hugely appealing, we can see the logic: each collection will undoubtedly bring them a different audience, thus doubling their reach.
Superstar was written with the intention of capturing the excitement and passion of Aussie Rules Football. Sadly we know nothing about that. However, this does feel like an incredibly passionate and powerful motivation song. Something you might put on at the gym… something that would sit well alongside tracks from Fame/ Flashdance or Rocky! This is a “guy overcomes struggles to win a championship” theme tune waiting to happen!
Superstar starts with some exhilarating organ sounds and some fantastic stereo in the backing vocals. The layered vocals give this track a euphoric feel right from the start. We love the changes in rhythms and patterns, throwing in the occasional half-time moment or breakdown section. Considerable thought has been put into making sure to squeeze every last ounce of excitement into this song.
We love the close mic vocal sections, and the synth-strings give a grandiose feel to the track. This is so motivating that we’re all thinking of heading to the gym now!
Vocally, there are moments of Foreigner or Savage Garden. The vocals in this track are, as we’ve come to expect of Satellite Train, outstanding, characterful and flawless. We particularly liked the section leading to the end, where vocal melodies are interweaving with each other and building more and more excitement.
Shameless and Superstar are both absolutely stunning and masterful tracks from an incredibly well-put-together group of seasoned musicians. We’re so excited to watch Satellite Train’s progress. Superb songwriting, superb musicianship, superb production and positively sublime vocal performances. Highly recommended.