Review: City Of Satellites – The Spook

City Of Satellites are an Australian-based duo who have created a richly-layered debut to unite the worlds of dreampop and ambient rock. Despite containing a mere three tracks, the twenty-two minutes contained within this release show commendable depth, emotion and high production values.

‘Moon In The Sea’ begins with a densely-constructed introduction of drums, bass and synths, which soon allow Jarrod Manuel’s whispered vocals to make themselves known. Like the rest of the EP, there’s nothing immediate about this song but it becomes more involving after each listen. ‘Sleeping Disgrace’ uses a slow and deliberate rhythm with its languid guitar offering a fine counterpoint to Manuel’s falsetto, rather like a post-rock Scritti Politti. There’s even time for a couple of synth solos that border on prog rock but otherwise City Of Satellites retain an understated approach to songwriting. Finally, the EP’s title track shoots off into space with a gorgeous arrangement of uplifting guitars and effects. It’s the track which most openly reveals their shoegazing influences the but it’s also a song that seeks to embrace the future rather than churn up the past.

Although they are clearly a band with their own sound, the nearest comparison I can think of are Breathless. Like that British band, City Of Satellites create meticulously-constructed songs of mystery and drama and this is a brilliant start to their career.

Web Sites:
City Of Satellites Official Site
City Of Satellites MySpace
Hidden Shoal Recordings Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
Breathless, Glassacre

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