MUSIC REVIEW | Futuristic Nostalgia Engulfs Satellite Young's Debut LP
Where's my cyberpunk post-dystopian future? I found myself asking this right at the conclusion of J-POP band Satellite Young's self-titled debut record. Consisting of singer Emi Kusano, synthesizer master Bellemaison Seikine, and a TV-headed robot DJ known as Tele Hideo, the trio's sound is clad in neon and engulfed with the vibe of the best anime of the 80's and early 90's.
The poppy "Fake memory" shines like a romantic beacon, with the vision of cherry blossoms floating through a sunshine-drenched Tokyo park. "Geeky Boyfriend" is a purely smile-inducing fun romp that calls back to arcade hangouts and goofy pizza-filled double dates. Kung Fury composer Mitch Murder assists brilliantly in "Sniper Rogue," an intense ride through a late-night cityscape with Gunsmith Cats' Bean Bandit taking the wheel. It's fast-paced, exciting, and deserves to be blared in dance clubs across the world.
"Don't Graduate, Senpai!" is anime rom-com theme song perfection, bringing forth a feeling of first love and high school youth all throughout its peppy melodies. Meanwhile "Sanfransokyo Girl" is a calm, uplifting melody that feels at home with the likes of Daft Punk and Kavinsky. Don't be surprised if a montage happens right in front of your eyes when "Dividual Heart" starts blaring, as it's the type of track that'll easily get anyone pumped up for that big game/fight/race/robot battle/some other intense match where your well-being is on the line. Album closer "Melancholy 2016" turns the lights down low and embraces its listener with a heartfelt hug and a brush of the hair.
More J-POP artists need to take a cue from Satellite Young. Staying true to the classic retro sounds of synthwave pop while soaring towards a cyborg-filled future, the trio's first album is filled with nighttime melodies and love-soothing lyrics that'll mend any broken heart out there. If Satellite Young doesn't become the biggest J-POP group in the Land of the Rising Sun, then Japan's musical future will seemingly be a sad & bleak one.