Lyrically there’s a cozy domestic vibe on 13 Satellites that resonates with this 30-something suburban dad. Brandon writes, plays, and sings from his heart with such sincerity and vulnerability that you can’t help but want to hug the guy. Knowing Brandon I’m sure he’d be game, which is a testament to his honest, personal songwriting. What an incredible feat of courage it is to put your life out there in song and Brandon is making a career of airing it all out. As a listener we are only enriched by the trust and respect Brandon clearly feels for his listeners.
As with his excellent previous efforts, it is pure joy to hear Brandon's influences. In the hands of such a talented songwriter the tunes never sound derivative or unoriginal. In fact, Brandon leaves his original mark on every second of every song. Specifically, Satellite reminds me that as long as the final product comes close to a song like this, every new generation has a right to lay claim to The Beatles’ lasting legacy. The Sgt. Peppery Exploding Angel oozes Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. All the Way Down could so clearly be an outtake from Paul McCartney’s eponymous debut that would sound just perfect next to Junk. Although indisputably and admittedly Beatlesque throughout, 13 Satellites evokes its fair share of Beach Boy harmonies, Elliott Smith depth, Ben Foldsian melodies, and ... something sure is Jellyfishy with Louise Street.
The best thing about 13 Satellites? Brandon sounds happy. He has dealt with pretty heavy issues through his music and doesn't shy away here, but Brandon is clearly in a good place. 13 Satellites reflects a newfound playfulness that proves the good ones don't sacrifice fun for substance.
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Check out the way cool animated video for Satellite below.
On a final note, Flowers Fading is easily the most gorgeously timeless song I’ve heard all year. It. Is. Stunning.