Photo Cred: Shervin Lainez
“Her vocals effortlessly convey her story of finding love from adolescence to maturity, roping the listener in after just the first verse. The backdrop for those lyrics is equally impressive, bringing a myriad of fluttering synths, booming percussion, and softly strummed guitars, all of which create an expansive soundscape.” – The Music Ninja
“Over the last year the duo have put both tragedy and heartbreak into their work.” – Noisey
“…Satellite Mode has harnessed a loosely tuned, Rickenbacker guitar rift and a crazy good synth loop to make their sound.” – Impose
“…a plethora of top-notch releases.” – HighClouds
New York City-based, indie pop/rock duo Satellite Mode announce their debut EP, Wild Excuses,
due out August 11th, 2017
. Half the EP tracks, including “Wild Excuses,” were mastered by Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Bjork, Beach House, Vampire Weekend) at Sterling Sound. The duo recently shared their lead single, “Bad Woman,” via BlackBook,
who describes the track as “a statement of defiant self-possession set against a potent musical backdrop of contemporary rock & roll cabaret – with its fuzzed out synths and ominous strut of a groove.”
Satellite Mode is the project of the classically trained duo of vocalist, Jess Carvo and producer and instrumentalist Alex Marko. Facing the threat of never being able to sing again, Carvo found her voice after an emergency vocal surgery and delved into writing as a creative outlet. Soon meeting Marko, who had just gone through a breakup, the duo transformed hardship and strife into power and success, using their musical chemistry and formal training as a vehicle for expressive creation. The band independently released single, “Wild Excuses,” via Noisey, landing a spot on Spotify’s coveted Weekly Buzz playlist, gaining over one million streams on Spotify to date. The track holds the namesake and is the opening track for their forthcoming 6- track EP. Satellite Mode has supported a variety of live acts including Great Good Fine Ok, The Night Game and Flor.
Wild Excuses, the first full collection of works released by the duo, includes previously released (and beloved) tracks such as “Fair,” “Aphrodite” and “Warm Fire Lightning,” and unheard new material. Lead single, “Bad Woman,” highlights the duo’s expressive dynamic musicality, beginning with Carvo’s soft croon, slowly escalating to an explosion of glitchy electronics, shimmering keys, blissed out guitar and anthemic vocals. The duo’s second single, a cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” presents a reinterpretation of the classic rockabilly track with dreamy layers of sound, passionate vocals and constant crescendo to a sonic climax. “Warm Fire Lightning” was mastered by Alex DeTurk (DIIV, TEEN, The Knocks) at Strange Weather in Brooklyn. Wild Excuses was mixed by Damian Press.
8/8/17 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY (RELEASE SHOW)
WILD EXCUSES – TRACKLISTING
01. Wild Excuses
03. Warm Fire Lightning
04. Bad Woman
06. Wicked Game
Opposites don’t just attract; they make magic.
What happens when you combine a classically trained multi-instrumentalist with a knack for off-kilter cinematic soundscapes and a powerhouse singer with a staggering vocal range? The answer is New York duo Satellite Mode—Jess Carvo [vocals] and Alex Marko [instrumentation, production].
A mélange of booming emotionally charged vocal sorcery and hypnotic sonic backdrops, the group has quietly become a phenomenon. Without traditional promotion, they already racked up over 2 million cumulative plays on Spotify, landed on the coveted Weekly Buzz playlist, and crashed the platform’s U.S. Viral Top 10 and Overall Top 10 in addition to going Top 5 on Hype Machine. Early praise came from Noisey and other tastemakers as the pair wowed audiences throughout NYC since their 2016 arrival. You could think of them as the NETFLIX generation’s answer to Portishead, and you’d only be about halfway there…After teasing out singles, 2017’s Wild Excuses EP formally unlocks the world of Satellite Mode.
“We’re two sides of one whole,” explains Alex. “Even though the music is electronic, I try to bring a live feel beyond the glue of synths. In terms of songwriting, I draw from sixties influences like The Kinks, The Beatles, Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed solo. I bring the rawness. Jess is the honesty and vulnerability. There’s something under that voice a lot of people don’t have.”
“It wasn’t until I met Alex that everything shifted,” admits Jess. “At the time, I was writing a lot and recovering from intense vocal cord surgery. I was told I might never sing again and I was in need of being liberated from who I thought I should be as an artist. I bring a lot of longing to the table. As a performer, I believe my job is to expose myself to others who are having trouble showing themselves. That’s what it comes down to.”
Initially introduced via New York City’s intimate songwriters circle in 2014, Jess and Alex didn’t begin creating until almost a year later. Facing an unspeakable family tragedy soon after meeting Alex, Jess yearned for a cathartic vehicle, while Alex, broken from the disintegration of a long relationship and the malaise of corporate America, needed the same.
“When we first met, we were in such different stages of life,” recalls Alex. “I had this epiphany. I was in a corporate job, and I was like, ‘What am I doing with my life? All I want to do is music.’ I completely changed my life to follow my music. Jess became the outlet.”
“Whatever happened with the tragedy in my life ended up being the impetus for forming Satellite Mode, which helped me rediscover my voice” Jess elaborates. “It gave me purpose and direction. This would be our music. It wasn’t something we were going to pitch out. We peeled away those layers of ourselves and became very personal.”
They uploaded “Wild Excuses” online, and it blasted off almost immediately. In under a year, it individually generated close to 1 million Spotify streams and counting. Now, it serves as the title track of their debut EP. Boasting online favorites “Fair,” “Aphrodite,” and “Warm Fire Lightning,” the six-song set elegantly stirs trip-hop expanse, rock swagger, and ceremoniously massive singing into one intoxicating brew. The single “Bad Woman” begins with a delicate croon that slowly crescendos into an explosion of glitchy electronic tones, spacey guitar leads, shimmering keys, and Jess’s stadium-size pipes as she soulfully declares, “Yes, I’m a bad bad woman.”
“It’s about the double standard of being a girl,” she reveals. “I was thinking about a lot of things all at once. You could see this double standard clearly mirrored in the political landscape. I also found it among my friends’ personal relationships. This angst comes out in our songs, as the double standard is prevalent with being a female in the entertainment industry. It’s a mash-up of all of these frustrations and stories.”
Elsewhere on the EP, they breathe new life into Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” with a vibrant and vivid cover draped in airy textures and tones. “We really like to put our own spin on things,” remarks Alex.
In the end, the connection between Jess and Alex translates to listeners everywhere via Satellite Mode.
“When people hear us, I’d love for them to get that feeling in their stomach music can evoke,” Alex leaves off. “A lot of our art is about overcoming tragedy or changing your life around. It could hopefully be motivating.”
“I just hope they feel everything a little more intensely,” concludes Jess. “My favorite musicians make me feel like I’m not alone in my thoughts and, in some way, speak a universal truth. I want them to have fun and feel lighter. We’re not so different than they are.”