Satellite Stories – Cut Out The Lights (2018)

Image courtesy of Satellite Stories

Satellite Stories have recently released their new album, Cut Out The Lights.  The Finnish band consists of Esa Mankinen, Olli-Pekka Ervasti, Marko Heikkinen and Jyri Pesone, who formed in 2008.  This ten-track record features pop songs and songs that will get you in the mood to dance.  Well, it did for me anyway.

The first song off the album is ‘Green River’.  This track is an escape song about all the places that he wants to explore and all the things he wants to experience, but he decides to stay where the river runs because it is safer and he won’t get lost.  By choosing to do this, he misses out on things that he wants and doesn’t take opportunities when they come his way.  The song begins with a slow beat to get the listeners ready, and then dives into the upbeat and quick tempo that is made up of multiple instruments, including the guitar and the violin.  The violin carries throughout the entirety of the song, which I thought was quite interesting.  The only indication of the change between chorus and verse was the subtle introduction of the drums to signify the chorus beginning.

The album continues with the song ‘Coupons’ which is about a relationship that seemed like a waste of time, but in the end, they realised they both got something out of it, whether it was a lesson or a blessing in disguise.  Just like a coupon, a lot of time is spent collecting them, and in the end, you get something out of it. The song carries a catchy and upbeat melody to it that is led by, mainly, drums.

‘Wild Wind’ is the third song on the album and it is about wanting to go where no one has or a desire to go where trouble is.  The lyrics are slightly hidden within the instrumentals, which I think is a suggestion to the ‘wild wind’ and not being able to hear when you are surrounded by it.

The album continues with the track ‘Carried Away’.  The song starts off slow, but quickly works its way up to a strong and present beat.  The guitar beat is present throughout the entirety of the song, which I enjoy.  The ending of the song is quite different to that of other tracks on the album as the instruments all disappear and then slowly make their way back as it nears the chorus.  The song is about being in a relationship and getting carried away in yourself, forgetting about the other person.  They sing the lyrics, ‘today I know I’m yours, but tomorrow could be different’ – this lyric reflects this idea of only worrying about yourself and no one else.  The song discusses the idea that the relationship is heading nowhere and it doesn’t matter anymore.

‘Sunglasses’ is next and it is about the idea of sunglasses hiding not only a face, but also emotions.  She doesn’t let anyone get too close and see the real her because she is afraid.  The song starts with instruments that are carried throughout the entirety of the song and change slightly when the chorus rears its head.

‘Mercury’ is a gentler song off the album and is about seeing the world in a new light and being the person you were born to be.  He is shooting for the stars but aiming for Mercury, a place far away and unknown.  ‘Cut out the lights’, and also the album title, is the next track.  It has a record scratching noise at the beginning of the song and jumps into a fast-paced tempo that lets the song stand out from the other songs.  It is about creating a diversion to try and escape by turning off the lights.  He plans to solve problems by making them invisible and ignoring it.

‘No Adagio’ is that song that makes you want to go back to a summer holiday where you had a fling, and everything was easy.  It makes you feel that way because that’s exactly what it’s about.  It’s about wanting to go back to that time and waiting for the day when it happens again.  ‘Maraschino’, on the other hand, is the relationship that you want to forget and escape, and they do this through alcohol.  They are always on different pages and can never agree so, instead of sorting out their problems, they drink.

The final song on the album is ‘Alone in Eldorado’, which is my favourite.  The song goes straight into an upbeat and uplifting tune played throughout the track.  It is about a man spending his life trying to get what he wants, money.  However, when he finally achieves this, he realises he is alone with no one to share his success.  He moved away to a place, literally or figuratively, where no one speaks English, and he can’t communicate.  He is completely alone.  The lyrics combine the fast tempo and set up the tune for a satiric kind of vibe where the band is mocking this man because he now has nothing but money.

The album cover holds a mountain with faded trees around the edges and barely visible.  This relates to the idea of cutting out the lights and using your other senses to fully immerse yourself in the scene.

Overall, I enjoyed the album, but I found that after a while the songs became quite repetitive in the way the instruments were played and even in the way the lyrics were sung.  I did like how all the songs had a message but took a while to uncover.  They weren’t entirely obvious at the start, but once you stopped looking for a message you found it.

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