Two years after their first album caught the ears of local Philly music fans, Satellite Hearts have returned with the self-released Desire Forces the Flow, which dropped on July 21. Recorded and produced by Joe Bisirri (The Lawsuits), this 12 song album vividly captures the power and nuance of the band, while combining their eclectic influences with unwavering honesty.
Formed in 2007, Satellite Hearts is Justin Pellecchia (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Lucas Rinz (bass, vocals) and Keaton Thandi (drums, keys, horns, vocals). Being immersed in the burgeoning Philly Fishtown rock scene has resulted in the band being tapped as back-up musicians for such local luminaries as Ron Gallo (Toy Soldiers), Ali Wadsworth and rapper Kuf Knotz.
Ghettoblaster Magazine recently caught up with the band to discuss the record.
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
Some of the material was written sporadically between 2010 and 2014. The song “The One” was one of the first songs written when the band started. Other tunes were written as we progressed and some shortly we began the recording process.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
I’d say it was “Smoke & Mirrors” or “EASY WAY”, but I’ll talk about the former. We toyed with the arrangement a few times, which is what we do sometimes. However, that wasn’t difficult it was the mixing process that was strange. There used to be a horn arrangements and other elements. We ended up stripping some of those elements down and taking the horns out. When I look back it wasn’t so bad, but at the time it seemed that way.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
“EASY WAY” is definitely the most different, although, “Outside The Box” included a fresh part that had not been in our live shows prior to recording. However, “EASY WAY” used to have a psychedelic jam section at the end and was much longer than the final cut.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
We did not and it’s mostly the three of us. Only Joe Bisirri (producer) played a little slide in “Carry Them Bones”.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Our friend Joe Bisirri who is a band called The Lawsuits produced the record. Joe contributed to the overall sound of the record. He even helped us with arrangements and musical parts on certain tunes. It was a full on collaboration.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Well we went into the record with the goal of creating a short melodic record with powerful songs. The focus was just on the songs and to create a great record in the best of our abilities.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We’ve been playing these songs well before the record was recorded and finished. Our fans have reacted to most of the album with great enthusiasm, so it’s hard to pick. I will say “Carry Them Bones,” “16:12,” “Hot Water,” “Outside The Box,” “Peacock Blue,” and “Mountainside Breakdown.”
(Their latest video single, “Doing Things Right,” is a spin-tastic, inventive tour de force. Watch it: