The Return: Satellite Maps Song Review

Hello guys,

It’s been so long, and I hate saying that I’m busy because that’s never an excuse. There’s just so much to do at school this year, and the motivation for posting has gone unfortunately. But lately, it’s been coming back. I miss this safe space to write my reviews. There are amazing opportunities I want to take advantage of. That’s the quick update as to what’s been going on with me. To kick things back up slowly, here’s a quick music review I wrote a long time ago. Around a year ago exactly. It’s interesting to see how not just how my musical tastes have changed over a year, but how my horizons have opened to more genres, and inspirations. So here’s what Phyllis from a year ago was obsessed with. I still love Satellite Maps, but now when I listen to it, it’s less emotional, and more a quick tune. A 5/10 from a year ago, but now I think I’d give it a 7? The aspect with how the song is captivating with such an easy beat, never ceases to amaze me. Enjoy!


Artist: Montgomery

Song: Satellite Maps

Album: New Clear War EP

Genre: Indie/Alternative

Release Date: Oct. 24, 2014

Rating: 5.0

There is almost no information on Montgomery. She is mysterious and novel in the music scene today. She has a different pure sound and has already defined the type of artist she wants to be known as. As most people know, this song was given a boost by some celebrities. After a mention from them, Montgomery was plucked out and gained more recognition. There is a certain pop style in her music that is easy to listen to and easy to like as well. It is important to recognize that her music foundation and unique qualities are strong, but it might not be as well known if it weren’t for the celebrity mentions. Her debut EP sets the scene for the rest of her career, and “Satellite Maps” is one that she has written for it.

The whole work New Clear War, a cleverly worded EP uses electronic production and many interesting sound effects. The songs all sound synthetic which is not necessarily a bad quality. In other words, the songs sound enlightening and enchanting. “Satellite Maps” rings true to all these aspects, which makes the EP such an integrated piece.

What stood out about “Satellite Maps” would be its emotion. It follows heartbreak, an emotion that we can all relate too. The simple story is told through the lyrics effectively, “You pull my chair up in closer, you had a house up there. All time on your computer, you showed me everywhere.” After opening the song with these lyrics, a clear image is painted in our minds and that is exactly what all lyrics should do. There is a nice and consistent flow throughout the whole production. The melody constantly repeats and moves at a fairly fast speed, never losing your attention. The electronic production sounds simple as well, just like the quality of Montgomery’s voice. The emotions sound especially raw throughout the chorus where there is a constant repetition of “Why did you leave” echoing. The effect on the listener is irreplaceable, as the echoing never leaves the mind, even after the chorus is sang. The atmosphere it creates remains as a second layer throughout.

The melodies in “Satellite Maps” are very delicate and beautiful, carrying the sweet sorrow described about this relationship. The melodies are also freeing when they are played in the background. They echo “Oh” and “Ah” as Montgomery’s voice pours out all the emotions.  Harmonies are not used, but there is a riff made up of electronic scales near the end. It sounds very heavenly, and comes as a lovely surprise, after the predictable chorus and verses. The rhythms were simple as well. There was no syncopation, instead just regular rhythm that was practically the same as the beat. This is not something that can be easily done, but through her debut EP, Montgomery seems to have mastered this.

A quality that is delicate about Montgomery’s voice would be her falsetto that is displayed throughout the entire song. Her voice is balanced with the electronic back track effectively. During the chorus, the back track is at a 4 to 6 ratio with Montgomery’s voice. The ratio is hard to understand until listening to the song. It falls on the line before reaching the point at which the music covers the singing itself.

As much as the song is likeable and catchy, it is also very typical. It sounds like a regular electronic song or a regular pop song. Its chords progressions were bland and not a wise choice. For an EP song, it is good to create a piece that stand out in the industry and pulls the musician out from the many others trying to make a break through. The song is also very short, and mostly just electronic backtrack. It is barely Montgomery singing, there is no defined structure to the song and immediately goes into the chorus. Almost as if there is a lack of effort, it is pleasing to an average listener, but holds no depth theme wise or music wise.

If you wanted a new quick and easy listen for working out, this would be it. It does have enough of a pop song quality to it. Montgomery has a stable start to her career and she is worth listening to. Her heavenly, pure and raw qualities will take her father in her future career.

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