Opening with the lyric “now and then it feels we’re running on a satellite, running out of time,” “Satellite” by Kidgloves and Emily Brimlow establishes itself immediately as a song with an important message, refusing to beat around the bush and entrenching the listener right out of the gate.
“This song was written about being tethered to the damn phone,” writes Cody Aledia, the creative mind behind Kidgroves. It delves into the way people compare themselves to only the best versions of other people-- the façade they put online to make it look like they’re much happier than they are, as heard in the lyrics “I feel like I could lose my mind but we all seem satisfied.” Along with that, they also criticize the fast-paced society our devices have created-- how quickly we move from one big thing to the next, as well as how our devices have divided us and engrossed us in our own little worlds.
Sonically, “Satellite” is especially compelling. The instrumental arrangement and vocal techniques juxtapose perfectly with the heavy, thought-provoking lyrical content. Both Aledia and Brimlow use breathy, airy vocal tones, even emphasizing their stark breaths between words at a few different moments. Coupled with the intensity of the lyrics, this vocal style adds a broody, even wistful element to the song. It also serves as an audio-visual supplement to the recurring use of the word “running”-- they’re running and running, and feel winded. Their light vocals demonstrate a feeling of desperation for it to stop. The same can be said for the minimalist instrumental arrangement, from the soft acoustic strumming that floats underneath the vocal tracks, to the beat that sounds eerily like actual running.
Typically, we as an audience have come to expect intense lyrics to work together with sounds just as intense. “Satellite” begs us to think again about the different ways such a mood can be created, and how a strong message can be just as powerful without screaming.
Cody Aledia is a producer and singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. “Satellite” is his debut single under the Kidgloves project, and felt it was only right to work with long-time friend Emily Brimlow, for whom he previously played bass in her live band and produced a number of her songs. Together the pair had recorded and produced fifteen different versions of “Satellite” before decided to go with the original cut.
Written by Jess Ward