Montréal-based Jasmine Bleile’s solo project, Satellītes is Bleile’s momentous return from an extensive world tour with her former country-folk band and a subsequent hiatus; it is the product of Bleile’s return to her musicality doing things explicitly her way. While Love and Disaster, which was released in November 2018, sees Bleile stretching her wings in a different, more genuine and mature direction, it is a distinctly collaborative endeavour. The tracks, which began as poems, were sent to friends of Bleile’s which then music had written around the lyrics. Perhaps because of this compositional form, Love and Disaster doesn’t sit within the constraints of a particular genre, or style, however, in this case this is not necessarily a weakness. Although it could be defined as a mash-up of disco, funk and soul, Bleile writes that “naming things is for other people,” so I’d imagine she’d prefer you take those titles with a grain of salt.
Roughly the first half of the album (up to and including “Sucker”) has a distinctly 80s style funky disco feel. With big basslines, short, funky guitar riffs and big, full vocal breakdowns in tracks like “Breathless,” it is equal parts fun and sassy. If it has been written a couple decades ago, “Sucker” with its chorus “I’m sucker for a love story,” would have made a perfect fit in the soundtrack of the film Dirty Dancing.
The album takes a drastic shift (for the better) from the 80s disco-funk-Dirty Dancing vibe at “We Get Lost” which is considerably more low key than anything that comes before it. Sporting arguably Bleile’s best vocals on the album, for the most part, the track has a lot less going on in it. Opening with keys, drums and sultry vocals which spill into some lovely harmonies with Paul Cargnello “We Get Lost” is a somewhat lonely shining moment on the album.
Other such moments include the opening vocals on “Just A Trace,” which paired with a solid guitar riff make for one of the more memorable moments. While there is nothing bad about the album per se, for me it falls a bit flat. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it lacks but the final few minutes of the closing track “Love Sweet Love” which is basically just a soulful guitar solo provides an example of what I would have loved to hear more of throughout the album.
Written by Jordan Hodgins
*edited by Danielle Kenedy