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Stars And Satellites
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Red hot tempo busting indie folk band Trampled By Turtles charge across The Atlantic to bring a little bit of the Midwest to the UK! Fresh from their rollicking performance at this year s Lollapalooza, the Minnesota based five-piece will lay down British roots for a 6-date November tour. The band s sixth album is about to take them to new heights of recognition, as they gain a whole new legion of UK admirers... Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, Trampled By Turtles formed in 2004 and have grown organically over the years into a cast-iron musical unit. New-fashioned old-time from a group of hardened multi-instrumentalists, Trampled By Turtles pen genre-bending folk songs about love, life and the everyday, while extolling the virtues of doing it for yourself; try to imagine a punk hoedown Way Out West and you re halfway there.... Serving up supercharged, rapid-fire banjo romps and delicate, elegiac ditties, they pepper their songs with rich orchestral flourishes and do heartwarming and anguished in equal measure; shooting from the hip as well as from the heart.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now their latest (and for me, long-awaited) album Stars and Satellites is here, and it is nothing short of the amazing talent that TbT has so far demonstrated in their last few albums, particularly Trouble, Duluth, and Palomino. If you loved TbT before, you will continue to do so with their latest release.
Having said that, it is a different album from the others, but certainly not in a bad way. The lyrics are overall more contemplative, the style overall more mellow. That is not to say there aren't a few of their typical fast-paced, rambling tunes on here ("Walt Whitman," "Risk," "Sorry," and "Don't Look Down," for example), but the rest are more relaxed in nature ("Midnight on the Interstate," "Alone," and "High Water" are perfect examples of this), and it is in these more thoughtful songs where the album truly shines.
The laid-back and meditative feel of the album actually makes perfect sense considering where the band recorded the album, according to the Vignette Series/Making Of videos the band released on YouTube: in a secluded cabin in the woods. What is particularly laudable is the songwriting; the lyrics leave me in awe every time. The songs have an almost lonely, lost feel to them, and a sense of longing for what has been and what may be. It makes me want to drive out into the middle of nowhere, light a campfire, look up at the nighttime sky, and just wonder. No CD has made me feel this way before, and for a CD to have any kind of profound emotional effect on me is an awesome feeling and an equally awesome accomplishment for the band.
I cannot recommend this album highly enough. What TbT has proven is that a band can mature and still retain what originally made them great. I was initially going to recommend this to any bluegrass/folk fan, but hell... any fan of music in general needs to own this one.
See you guys in Philly on April 21!
I have to listen to Stars and Satellites a few (hundred?) more times to figure out if my favorite TBT song is on this album - especially since the last two albums Duluth (Methodism in Middle America, Duluth, and Shenandoah) and Palomino (Gasoline, Victory, and Wait So Long) had so many outstanding tracks. That said, as an album, I think it is a more cohesive collection of songs. They flow great when listening to the entire album and they are great individual songs that will work for the 'shufflers' out there.
I like the direction this album has taken and I can't wait to see them when they tour this spring and summer.
Overall, what is growing and growing on me with this album is TBT's lean away from albums in the past where they sometimes seemed to sing songs in between playing hypersonic ones. There is absolutely nothing rushed here whatsoever and the songs are so intimate and at times they simply bleed hauntingly visceral sorrow that twist you with languid pulls on the fiddle (Widower's Heart, High Water, Midnight on the Interstate). This album is angst, honestly, and introspection smothered in mandolin and banjo(Calm and the Crying Wind). Beautiful is another song that is arranged so absolutely simple, they just plop a fat piece of emotion out on a plate for you to chew.
You won't be disappointed by TBT's infamous uptempo digs either, tunes like Walt Whitman and Risk are impressive.
I feel in a weird way that the group is maturing and spending hard time on the road and licking the wounds of life that we, ironically, get to enjoy in our own voyeuristic way.
Get this album.