Sputnik the Band
New York City
It’s easy to see what led “333” producer Carl Glanville (Keith Richards, U2, Frank Sinatra…) to their door, and the results are stunning, (and sometimes even a little chilling). Like the perfect mix tape left by a long but never forgotten friend…
SPUTNIK THE BAND RELEASES NEW ALBUM ‘333’—OUT NOW!
by Alex Catarinella
RECORD RELEASE PERFORMANCE AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL ON JUNE 19TH AT 6PM
Sputnik The Band is back with a brand new album, 333, produced by the Grammy Award-winning Carl Glanville (Keith Richards, U2, Frank Sinatra). The third album from the alternative rock five-piece is an utterly captivating return replete with atmospheric, nostalgic tunes with lots of depth and soul. Drawing comparisons to the likes of The Breeders and The Kinks as well as the swooning sound of The Velvet Underground and Mazzy Star, 333 offers luminous, skyscraper-high songs and visceral, straight-to-the-gut bangers destined to get listeners into a downright tizzy.
Genie Morrow is Sputnik The Band’s charismatic frontwoman, whose moving pipes alternate between fragile sweetness and in-your-face aggression. Her vocals boast an entrancing Stevie Nicks-like tone, perfect for 333’s cross-country road trip vibe. The album kicks off with the anthemic “Emerge from the Earth,” which was inspired by a poem written by Genie’s mentor, SGI Buddhist philosopher and peace builder Daisaku Ikeda. It’s a passionate, electric gem, starting as a lit fuse before exploding like a firework, surely resulting in listeners wanting… needing… to hear more from Sputnik The Band.
333 sounds like a moving mixtape left by a gone but never forgotten friend, and it’s warmly familiar albeit fresh at every listen. The proof is in the sublime covers found on the LP, including the band’s upbeat version of Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know” and their fearless, full-bodied punk/pop take on Guided by Voices’ “Game of Pricks.” Perhaps the catchiest track (and certainly the most boot-stomping-on-the-dancefloor-inducing) of them all is the feel good, rambunctious “A-Frame to Skycrest.” But, like a winding road, you’ll never know what’s ahead on 333, which makes the sonic experience even more exciting. Toward the end of 333 comes slow, quietly spectacular songs called “Kennywood Park” and “333” on which Genie sings about days of ephemeral innocence mixed with dreamy landscapes and friendships with her perpetually captivating voice expressing a hushed, come-closer intimacy.
On 333, Sputnik the Band invites listeners to join them for an unforgettable road trip, where stories of survival, love and friendship are shared and wondrous stops are made along the way—from Cape Cod coastlines, western landscapes and a historic amusement park to outer space, which makes sense since the band’s name comes from a space-inspired story.
One snowy winter night in December, Genie was looking out of her window at the falling snowflakes as she played a waltz beat on her mini casio. She began to think of Laika, the dog who was sent via satellite from Russia into outer space in the ‘50s, which quickly resulted in her writing “Sputnik – Song for Laika.” She reflects: “The dog didn’t have a voice to say whether she wanted to go into space or not. The astronauts just strapped her in and sent her off… and she never made it back home. The song is about what it must have been like for that innocent little dog looking out at the stars and planets all alone.” Soon after, Genie went into the studio with Nigel Rawles and Mic Rains where they recorded the song, and where Sputnik The Band was born and launched into the stratosphere.
Sputnik The Band consists of Mic Rains (with his alternate guitar tunings and piano), Pemberton Roach (bass and vocals), Nigel Rawles (drums and guitars), Joe Drew (trumpet) and Genie Morrow (vocals, accordion, guitar). Over the years, the band has acquired quite a devoted following, and they’ve frequently played sold-out shows in iconic Lower Manhattan venues including Knitting Factory, Arlene’s Grocery, The Bitter End as well as colleges across the country. They’ve taken the show on the road all over America, where the memories they continue to make ultimately lead to storytelling through their music. The literal translation of Sputnik means “Fellow traveler (of earth),” after all.
A seemingly effortless album that combines dreamy harmonies and guttural grit, additional musicians on 333 include bassist Tim Luntzel (Bright Eyes, Norah Jones), Shahzad Ismaily (Tom Waits, Iggy Pop) and John Jackson (Bob Dylan).
To celebrate the release of 333, Sputnik the Band will orbit once again, hitting the stage at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on June 19th at 6PM. Prepare for takeoff.
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