2019 has been an amazing year for independent artists around the globe, and among the sharper songwriters that I’ve happened to discover lately is Jasmine Bleile, whose new act, simply called Satellītes, has just made one of the harder-to-categorize new singles of the year in “Love & Disaster.” The rhythm of the song is angular, at times belligerent, and far more exciting than anything Satellītes’ extroverted pop counterparts have been making recently. The instruments are feral but kept on a short leash by Bleile, and through an athletic compositional arrangement, they’re able to give us the full impact of their melodicism without making the entire single sound overstuffed with detail.
“Love & Disaster” is not a rock song, but its percussion is rock-influenced without a doubt. The youthful aggression of a raw alternative style isn’t present, but in its place we find a defiant swing that is almost kind of punky, at least in the way that it’s being used in this situation. I don’t know how well the rest of the album that this single takes its name from would sell with hardcore rock audiences, but this is one track that would probably, at the bare minimum, get them interested in the Satellītes brand.
The mixes for the “Love & Disaster” music video and the stock song itself seem slightly different, but I can’t quite put my finger on what’s been altered and what hasn’t. The single version has way more depth to its bassline, but the video, which is a reverent response to the glamourous output from Top 40 stars like Taylor Swift if I ever saw one, has almost too much treble for us to pick up on the understated textures in the keys. Both convey the same amount of emotion in the vocal, but there’s no debating whether or not the single mix of “Love & Disaster” is a lot more tuneful and tempered between the two of them.
There’s some contrast between Bleile’s singing and the instrumental dissonance going on behind her, and I actually think that it makes this single much more stimulating a listen than it would have been with a less conflicting construction. I’ve always been more interested in music that pushes the boundaries and contradicts the standard way of doing things in the establishment than I ever have been in trend-followers, and if you’re the same way, then I think that you’re going to find Satellītes’ new release to be a breath of fresh air amidst this rather polluted pop environment.
I’d like to hear Satellītes tackle some more jazz-oriented material in the future, because if there’s anything that we can collectively learn from “Love & Disaster,” it’s that Jasmine Bleile has a soulful voice that knows no bounds in regards to making virtuosic vocal-driven music. This is a menacing melody that sets the tone perfectly for the fresh start that she’s making with her solo career, and if it’s even close to being on par with what we can expect to hear out of her work in the years to come, then I highly doubt that this will be the only time she makes headlines with her white-hot harmonies.