Satsang – Pyramids
1.) Pyramid(s) (feat. Uncle Jo)
2.) Just a Child, Just a Man
3.) Between (feat. Nahko)
4.) Here If You Need
5.) Getting Old
6.) Go Fly (feat. Tim Snider)
7.) Beautiful Days
8.) Speak Up (feat. Wookiefoot)
9.) Lay Me Down
10.) Be Love (feat. Tubby Love)
11.) Made For This
12.) Be Me (feat. Chris Berry)
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: March 20th, 2017
Record Label: Rootfire Cooperative
Official Website: Satsang Website
Satsang, which is a noun meaning a spiritual discourse or sacred gathering, is a Montana-based conscious music collective. Creating a unique blend of soul, folk-rock and hip-hop, Satsang delivers poetic lyrics that come from and are rooted in change, growth, awareness, and imperfection. This is a 3-piece group consisting of Drew McManus (Guitar/Vocals), Karl Roth (Bass/Keys/Guitar/Vocals), and Keller Paulson (Percussion/Drums). Pyramid(s) is the groups second full-length record released on March 20th, 2017 via Root Fire Coopearative. The groups debut album, The Story of You, was released March 25th, 2016.
To start, this isn’t a reggae album despite debuting #3 on the iTunes Reggae Chart. What the album does have is plenty of stripped down rock with soul, folk, hints of blue-grass and even hip-hop verses around melodic choruses and harmonies. My impression is that this 3-piece group went out camping in the woods with all of their instruments, along with some of their family & friends, and they wrote this album playing live in a circle around a bonfire.
With 12 tracks and 11 songs, I found myself enjoying this album from start-to-finish, especially while zoning out in reflection on a road-trip — “Just a Child, Just a Man” was a good song to start this journey. Like the rest of the album, it’s relaxing, lyrical and by the end of the song you should be able to sing-a-long.
The albums stand-out track features Nahko on “Between.” And while Nahko provides a cool and timely appearance with a melodic rap, he’s not the reason it’s the albums stand-out track. I love the keys bouncing around the pockets of the beat while the bass takes deep steps over an otherwise slower tempo with a good mix of melodic vocals that sit on-top. The elementary and high school aged children chorus when the beat drops out is also a great addition, further reminding me this was absolutely written at a camp fire of sorts.
The tone of these songs, matched with the albums lyrics, can pull out some inner-perspective with music that enables nostalgic-reflections. The are no bad songs on the album and the production is good. It’s a bit softer and slower for those looking for something more upbeat and energetic and while it’s a great album for a road-trip, rainy days or camp-fires, it may be left-out of consideration for work-outs, parties or if you want to listen to music to be energized without thinking. The album can be a bit sleepy, but with the right mood, it can be a remedy.
By comparison, I’d say the record has a G. Love/Trevor Hall tone with a Jack Johnson sound and subtle hints of Michael Franti, such as on the song “Speak Up,” featuring Wookiefoot — Sounds just like an upbeat Michael Franti song once the track gets going. “Speak Up,” “Getting Old,” “Beautiful Days,” and “Be Love” featuring Tubby Love are probably the liveliest tracks on the album with the latter having the most presence of reggae.
Overall, I’m a new fan of Satsang as a result of Pyramid(s). I recommend giving it a listen and because you can only have one first impression, choose your setting wisely as I’d recommend a road-trip where you’re not in a hurry! Some songs you may take with you to new playlists, as I did, are: “Between,” “Speak Up,” and “Be Love.” This band plays really well with others as evidence of the albums guest features and more than seeing them on stage, I’d love to be in the circle at the bonfire singing along.
Written & Reviewed By: Mike Patti
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: Satsang – “Beautiful Days”
Listen: Satsang – “Between” (feat. Nahko)