Static Satellites are a 4 piece moody indie band from Central Scotland. Formed in the summer of 2018, the West Lothian/Glasgow quartet has merged musicians with years of experience in the local Scottish music scene. Influenced by an eclectic combination of different sounds, Static Satellites are an invigorating new band offering a different breed of alternative noise.
Nowhere will the diversity within the band be more apparent than in the albums three of our members have been influenced by.
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
This is the album that got me into writing and producing my own music as Cathartic, having heard that Aphex Twin began writing this album at the age of fourteen. There’s no other album that comes close in terms of impact on my life and how music has shaped it. It triggered my love for the technical side of audio, pushing me forward into an Audio Engineering degree. It made me think about music in a whole new way, viewing pieces of music as a series of jigsaw pieces that can lock together to create something greater than the sum of their parts.
Over time I’ve come to appreciate the collaborative nature of being in a band as well as producing solo but without this Aphex Twin album, I doubt I’d have stuck with writing, playing and producing music long enough to end up as the lead guitarist of Static Satellites. I also doubt I’d have spanked quite as much money on synths I definitely didn’t need but there you go.
Pixies – Doolittle
Quite frankly, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. Despite its songs touching on the harrowing and gloomy topics of mutilation, murder and the likely event that one day you will get crushed to death by a colossal mountain of waste, it is surprisingly easy to fall in love with. What I love the most about this album however is that no two songs are the same and that even though it is 30 years old every track still seems fresh, clear cut and unique.
From the first time I heard the iconic opening to ‘Debaser’, this album has been a great influence on me. This album has shown me not to be afraid to try different things, no matter how mad or crazy the ideas may seem. It also taught me how important it is not to get bogged down in one genre, that there is nothing wrong with experimenting with new sounds. Most importantly though it demonstrated to me that there is no definitive, approved way to write a song. I try my best to incorporate these inspirations whenever I sit down to write and develop new songs. If it wasn’t for the Pixies I would still be failing miserably to be the next Johnny Rotten, now instead I have my eyes set on being the next Dave Lovering!
Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
This was one of the first album’s I listened to without skipping a single song and has shaped the way I approach lyric writing and song structuring. It also introduced me to open tunings and helped me form the basis of my fingerpicking technique.
The album itself seems to be more like a book, with each song representing a single chapter. It starts off quite upbeat and cheerful with ‘Old Pine’, a song made up of warm and delicate guitar riffs, accompanied by stunning harmonies. By the end of the track, the soft fingerpicking style from the intro has shifted into a loud jam. This is a common theme throughout the record and the use of wide dynamics make each song so special to listen to. The album makes a transition in mood so smoothly midway, switching from the sing along festival song ‘Keep Your Head Up’ to the brooding and incredibly emotional track ‘Black Flies.’ By the final song, ‘Promise’, the upbeat and warmth of the earlier songs seem like a distant memory.
Howard’s use of ambiguous lyricism allow this album to be more than just a melodic masterpiece, they allow it to be both incredibly honest whilst at the same time – incredibly guarded.
Static Satellites are a Scottish indie band and you can hear their song “Spin” on their Bandcamp page.