“Shameless is about having a secret crush on someone but not expressing it to them,” Satellite Train said in a press statement. “We wanted the lyrics and music to really express the emotions associated with such a situation.” Co-vocalist Michael Paynter opens second track Lies, with sparse yet impactful instrumentation in the form of John McCall’s subtle piano keys. “You’re drowning in your lies,” Paynter sings alongside blissful, Beatles-like production.
With lyrics that lament its namesake deceit, the band says Lies is “something that everyone can relate to in some way.” The new release concludes with Broken Heart, which sees the band “express lyrically and musically the raw emotion associated with [heartbreak].” The closer also serves as the culmination of the ensemble’s collective efforts, complete with ascendant vocal harmonies and assists from bassists Chris Cheney (of Jane’s Addiction) and Pasquale Monea, as well as keyboardist Jamie Muhoberac.
Each of the three tracks is accompanied by varying versions, including both retro-sounding and live renditions. For its part, Broken Heart’s retro cut has received an animated visualiser, which sees illustrated versions of the band members levitating in space alongside satellites and graphic lyrics. With such a starry list of bandmates, it’s only fair that Satellite Train be described as a supergroup, with origins that date back to original members O’Mara, McCall, Monea, and Tori Rosa.
From there, Satellite Train extended its reach internationally, enlisting Muhoberac, Chaney, Jacobs and Bisonnette, before Paynter joined as the band’s newest member. Paynter — who is elsewhere a member of Icehouse — is described by the band as “the missing puzzle piece we had always been lacking.”
While Shameless sounds like the culmination of months-long dedicated recording sessions, Satellite Train delivered the three tracks largely as a side project sharing: “Unlike most bands in which all the members live and breathe the band, Satellite Train is the exact opposite.”
“Essentially, it is a side project that musicians squeeze in when they have some free time. The lack of commitment to the band could be seen as a real disadvantage. But for Satellite Train, this is what makes it work.” Listen to Satellite Train’s latest triple-single Shameless below, and keep an eye out for future releases from the supergroup due out this year.