Last time Clouds & Satellites were on stage was during the Savannah Stopover Festival back in March.
"I remember it was an eerie feeling at Stopover, that this was going to be the last time we do this for a while," said singer Markus Kuhlmann.
EP4 by Clouds & Satellites
Now the band has a bunch of new songs under their belts and a Quarantine Concert at Tybee Post Theatre on Sept. 12. Kuhlmann had a taste of the popular virtual concert series when he performed with one of his many other bands a week ago.
"Waits & Co. just did a Quarantine Concert, so we kind of got the feeling for it and it’s a cool thing, man," said Kuhlmann. "Those concerts are really well done."
Besides Waits & Co. and Clouds & Satellites, Kuhlman has also played with or is currently a member of Hazel Virtue, Train Wrecks, and Nightingale News. Kuhlmann started Clouds & Satellites with his long time friend, Tim Warren. The band began as a two-piece, but now includes Stu Harmening (of Train Wrecks), Matt Garapolo (owner of Pinkie Masters), and Eric-Scott Guthrie.
"It was kind of like a side project kind of thing and now it’s become our main outlet for songwriting," explained Kuhlmann.
"We’ve got four songwriters in the band and three lead singers. It’s slowly turned into this full fledged project. It wasn’t something that we started and it was going to be gangbusters and we were going to go full throttle — it just evolved with different players with Tim and I at the core of it."
With so many songwriters in the band, the music could have been a mess, but the bandmates all share similar influences including Wilco, Spoon, Guided By Voices, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, so there is little friction in the creation process.
"I would say all of our songwriting styles are different, but they all run in the same circles," said Warren. "We’ve got similar appreciations for certain alt-country bands, or indie, or blues. They just work somehow. I’ve always felt comfortable with them somehow. The more songwriting we’ve got, the merrier."
"All four of us bring in songs and then after the four of us work on it, through the arrangements and how we play it, and the parts we add, it all comes out Clouds & Satellites style at the end," Kulmann added.
"It rounds them all up in the same corral, but you can kind of tell whose song is whose, not just by who is singing it. Certain styles and songwriting tricks that we all have and use are a little bit different but in the end it’s all, what I call, Southern indie rock."
At the tale end of 2019, Clouds & Satellites released their Doll House studio produced debut album, "LP 1." Then they released their 4-song "EP 4" right before Stopover Festival. The album and EP really highlight the diverse songwriting and stylistic strengths of the band, with elements of alt-country, classic indie rock, and 60s psychedelic pop.
Clouds & Satellites are releasing a handful of new songs on their Bandcamp page next week in anticipation of their upcoming Quarantine Concert. They look forward to performing several songs from their last few releases that no one has heard live before.
"It’s going to be fun," said Kuhlmann. "We’re putting a lot of effort and energy into really getting the songs we’re going to be playing down to a T, so we can play a really good show."
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