The first thing that I think is important to mention about The Satellite Station’s new single “Brand New” is just how appropriate the cover art for the song is. The soft guitars and even softer piano work amazingly well with the images of time-lapsed night skies and watching the moon slip below the horizon. Travis Rue, the one-man band that is The Satellite Station, has a beautiful, calming voice. A campfire voice if I’ve ever heard one. A soft ode to the still night.
The lyrics speak to a feeling of renewed existence, and a bit of anxiety over how long that renewal took.
“As the world moves on around me,
watch it pass before my eyes.”
Thankfully, however, this is in the past. Rue begs for his companion to stay close by and help tether him to an everchanging world – and even more so now that he is “brand new” as well. But it is still a quiet, solitary song. We are peaking in on a private conversation between two very close individuals as Rue spills his fears and hopes to his friend. But as the song progresses, however, the instruments expand to give us a fuller sound and more voices join his own soft vocals. Now it is less of a private conversation. This is a confession of emotions still, but now we are invited into the discussion of renewal, and we are allowed to bring together a satisfying conclusion in a sleepy and warm song about moving forward into a bright
“The Satellite Station is the solo project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Travis Rue. In 2019, The Ohio native began recording new material that melds his pop background with indie/folk elements. With haunting folk-inspired melodies and emotionally deep lyrics, Rue’s storytelling transports the listener to relatable experiences in their own lives.”
How did you get started playing music?
I started taking piano lessons around age 6 and played brass instruments in the school band. It wasn’t until I got my first guitar at 17 that I started writing songs. I had always been drawn to great songwriters like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and James Taylor and for some reason teaching myself to play guitar unlocked the mystery of songwriting for me.
Is there something you want people to take away from “Brand New” in particular?
I hope people hear themselves in the song. I am in love with the Two Story Melody concept that every song has two stories. I love hearing from listening about how they connected with a song and what it meant to them and sometimes that is completely different than what it means to me.
To me, this song is about waking up one day and realizing how much time is already behind you and questioning how that time was spent. I feel like there is this moment that we all have when we realize we have a finite amount of time and the choices we make suddenly become much more important.
Can you walk me through your songwriting process, step by step?
This is a question I love to ask other musicians because I am so interested in how the process is
different for every songwriter. For me, I start with the guitar or on piano and search for a chord
progression and melody that sticks out. Once I have that, I write an outline for the story of the
song. Then I write the lyrics through the song. It typically takes me a week from start to finish to
get a song completely done. I wrote about 40 songs in the last year.
What do you like doing when you’re not playing music?
I love to read, I am always working my way through a book. I am also a big runner and have run
Who are your influences?
So many. Elton John, Ryan Adams, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Beach Boys, James Taylor,
Motown (The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5), Fleet Foxes, Andrew McMahon,
Glen Hansard, Counting Crows, Jimmy Eat World… many many more…
What’s the most surprising song on your Spotify playlists at the moment?
Lizzo – Good As Hell — It’s just a really catchy song.
What do you enjoy most about playing music?
Songwriting without a doubt. I love the idea of creating something from nothing and telling stories that people can relate to.
Is the title “Brand New” significant?
It comes from the chorus lyric “I woke up brand new” which I felt was really representative of
the meaning of the song.
You take a lot of pictures on Instagram with your guitar. Is that your favorite instrument?
I could never pick between piano and guitar, but guitar is the only one I can carry around for
Finally, who are you listening to at the moment?
As I am writing this I am listening to “My Father’s Gun” by Elton John, which is one of my
absolute favorite songs.
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