Satchmode‘s story begins where Gabe Donnay’s pursuit of neuroscience ends.
After spending time at the University of Pennsylvania, Donnay moved to LA in 2013. As a Baltimore Native, Gabe took the decision as a chance to flesh out new opportunities. His time in education wasn’t entirely in the field of medicine, however — Donnay had classical training on both violin and piano, jazz, folk, and even bluegrass.
With Love Hz, Gabe hopes that the “music brings people in touch with their emotions. Everyone has experienced loss, guilt, and regret. It’s cathartic to go through that together. You emerge on the other side, and you’re okay.”
“A Picture of Two Lovers” [2:11] is a fitting introduction into Satchmode’s world of dream pop. It’s gentle, delicately constructed, and the right formula for a late night trance.
“Hall & Oates” [3:25] comes off as far more pop than dream — which is a great stylistic choice, for reasons far beyond striking a different composition than you may expect. When it picks up just past the two minute mark, you begin to focus in on the lyrics, before an exposure to some beautifully crafted instrumentation that closes off the track.
“Don’t Give Up On Me” [3:06] begins with an immediacy that comes just close enough to catching you off guard that it simply catches your attention. Much dreamier melodies sit well in the top half of the song, while the latter half touches on more atmospheric sensibilities.
“State of Mind” [3:47] tosses in some very light guitar work that you cannot help but focus on despite the track highlighting Satchmode’s vocals. Eventually, that drawn passes by, until you’re hit with a mid-track guitar solo. You can’t really nail down the group on dream pop as a genre at this point.
“Love Hz” [4:06] is a fairly sultry creation. “Never Gonna Take You Back” [4:27] shines in its blend of 80s melody and modern basslines. “The Smallest Things” [0:37] speaks largely for itself, both in length and namesake. Although, it makes me want to hear an exclusively instrumental creation from Satchmode.
“In/Between” [2:57] is one of the shorter tracks on Love Hz, but features the most haunting and ethereal delivery yet. “Happiness” [7:30] had its debut a short while ago on All Things Go.
Love Hz is a finely tuned creation, and clearly delivers on what you would expect from a dream pop record. The group is so musically talented, though, that we’re left wanting to hear much more. No matter how high you’re able to crank up the volume, you’re left begging for something more — whether that be more drama, more guitar solos, or in my case, a break away from any particular genre.
Satchmode has a group of immense talent, and we hope to hear them branch out into some highly experimental, anti-genre work in their coming releases. Still, a 4/5.