Review: Geneviève Racette, “Satellite”

Geneviève Racette, “Satellite”

It seems so difficult to just simply function these days. If this ongoing nightmare of Covid-19 wasn’t enough, suddenly someone wants to start an international conflict, the inevitable consequence being that many thousands of ordinary and innocent people will be caught in the crossfire.  It’s truly a scary world indeed right now.  Home is my personal antidote, a safe, warm haven where I can step inside and shut out the big problems outside, the planet continuing to spin in whatever way it wishes.  Here, I can close and lock the door, turn off the television set, and simply relax.

For me, of course, this inescapably means more time for listening to music, and given all of what’s going on around us, right now, the more mellow the mood, the better.  Maybe, perhaps somewhere in the ether, my friends at GDW picked up on my mood, but either way, Montreal’s Geneviève Racette’s latest (and third) full-length album, “Satellite,” landed in my lap for review at just the right time.  This little low-key affair spreads like warm butter on hot toast, and takes you way down into the chill-out zone – so soothing, I can almost feel the world becoming an infinitely better place as I listen.  In short, this is the kind of album I both want and need in the present day, a prescription of sonic therapy to help me through it all.

Geneviève Racette

Having done a little digging into her previous work, I suspected something good was about to take place.  After all, her already impressive biography tells of two million plus Spotify hits, a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award, and a host of prestigious live performances that suggest the emergence of an exciting artist from the shadows. And how could we ignore the single “Someone,” the stunning recent duet with City and Colour’s Dallas Green – talk about building up the anticipation for this album.   

Released today, this nine-song collection is chock full of intimate vocals, soft instrumentation, and expressive harmonies that can, if you allow them, simply float over you and soothe your soul.  That’s not to say that if you delve deeper in to the song cycle, it’s lyrically an easy listen – under the soft exterior sheen, there’s more than a share of heartbreak that titles like “Hostage,” “Waiting For Your Call,” and “Sober,” all imply. It’s just that these are my kind of problems, difficulties that many of us can and will relate to as human beings, all honest reflections of the fragility of the human condition.  As such, it’s easy to embrace such experiences rather than those that are externally imposed by more powerful, brutal, callous, malicious external forces.

In short, this is an album that can help reunite ourselves with ourselves, and with the sometimes-melancholic beauty of being alive. As humanity waits for the big leap forward, why would you spend your time depleting rather than feeding your soul?  Go ahead, feed it!  Geneviève Racette’s latest album will certainly help you do just that.

Photo Credit: Éva-Maude TC

Music has been a lifelong passion, a journey that as a child embraced the late 60's counter culture and has lasted until the present day. Despite trying to play guitar for the best part of 45 years, to his own frustration, never much beyond the first four bars of “Stairway to Heaven.” A self-confessed vinyl junkie, his other interests include collecting music memorabilia, old Muhammad Ali fight programs, and watching film. He lives alone in Nottingham (England) and still uses the term “Groovy” - these two facts may be intrinsically connected.

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