Geneviève Racette gets more in touch with her vulnerable side than ever on her beautiful new album Satellite, a 9-track exploration of love, heartache, and growth through the hardest moments of life. The Canadian singer-songwriter, who sings in both English and French, explores her emotions like never before on the project, pouring her heart into every last lyric and note in a way that will touch you as if you experienced her memories yourself.
“This is my third full length, and I’ve also released a couple EPs, but this one is so personal I feel like I’m releasing my diary to the world,” Racette tells TREMG. “It’s nerve-wracking but it’s also a huge relief. We’ve been working on this album for the past two years and there’s been many ups and downs with the pandemic and all. But we did it! YAY!”
The record opens with the fairly existential “Hostage,” which throws you right into Racette’s experience with heartache. She insists that “broken is all [she’s] ever gonna be” while also introducing songwriting as her saving grace when she feels that nothing else is helping her through her pain. While she’s “counting the hours until starlight” and hoping things will pass soon, you can’t help but hope she can fight past it, while also feeling the intimate air of the project from the very start.
“Maybe” is Racette’s guitar-led equivalent of Taylor Swift’s “The Archer”: a midtempo track addressing her anxieties, uncertainty about romance, and confusion regarding her future. It sees her falling into unhealthy habits to keep up with her partner, avoiding sleep to make sure they get home safely and putting her own needs aside. All the while, her lover strings her along as just a “maybe” without properly committing. The mellow desperation is simply heartbreaking – you can tell she’s trying to play it cool to avoid upsetting the subject, but deep down, she’s miserable.
Racette properly kisses that unequal relationship goodbye on the French song “Les adieux,” which means “Farewells.” Her enunciation and gentle voice offer an airy feel to the track that mirrors how she can feel freer now that she’s let go of the weight of the other person. The studio version of the track has beautiful harmonies reminiscent of Lorde’s “The Louvre” or Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license,” filling the space in a stunning way that sees her soaring.
Racette recruits her longtime friend Dallas Green for “Someone,” an acoustic-driven track that explores the contrast between passion and responsibility. She denies someone’s company with mature hesitation while Green offers gorgeous backing harmonies that breathe even more life into an already-vibrant ballad.
“I love Alexisonfire and City and Colour,” Racette shares. “It was definitely exciting to release a song with Dallas. I’ve looked up to him for so long! When I look at the bigger picture, I’m not surprised this happened. It just makes sense, you know? Our voices blend so well and it was simply just meant to be.”
Perhaps the most impressive song on the project, “Waiting For Your Call” is a wonderland of raw emotion that explores the bittersweet sides of love, particularly over a distance. Racette daydreams about having a “typical” relationship where she can bring her partner to her favorite local restaurants and introduce them to her friends. It’s thoughtful, complex, and absolutely mesmerizing, offering a realistic look at what it’s like to be in a long-distance romance.
“To me, the song is about insecurities in a long-distance relationship,” she confides. “I wanted to write about my long-distance relationship but I didn’t really know how. I co-wrote this song with my friend Barbra Lica via FaceTime.”
The country-tinged “Satellite” reminds us of Kacey Musgraves in the best ways possible, reflecting on memories of a past relationship as Racette adapts to life without her ex. Thinking about moments like “when this home changed from ‘ours’ to ‘mine’” and likening the process of moving on to a “deep, dark night.” All the while, the second verse sees her beginning to fall in love with someone new as she starts a new chapter of her life.
On “Sober,” Racette battles with the aftermath of a relationship, when memories of words said and love shared haunt her despite her attempts to pursue other people. She insists, “I don’t wanna play this game anymore” and expresses her desperation to rid herself of the past that keeps chasing after her. Following “Satellite,” it’s a poignant reminder that the effects of a breakup can hurt you long after they’re gone.
The tone and tempo pick up pace on “The Tide,” where Racette is trying to “drown out everything” she remembers from her past romance. It’s here where we truly see her process her pain and devote herself to finding a way out of it. She ponders whether she’ll “sink or if [she’ll] swim” with backing harmonies reflecting how these worries keep echoing in her mind.
The album closes with the hope-filled “Change My Mind,” a celebration of finding love after heartbreak. It feels like a happily ever after following the ups and downs of earlier songs, and it’s the conclusion you were rooting for Racette to have ever since pressing play. Pleas of “broken is all I’m ever gonna be” from “Hostage” fade into gently passionate lyrics like “he paints me gold, he paints me silver” as she finds the supportive love she deserves and insists, “I might let him change my mind.”
“When you’re going through a breakup, it’s really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Racette confesses. “I’m proud of myself for emotionally getting through it and allowing myself to fall in love again. Not all my questions about love and its cycles have been answered quite yet, but I’ll keep searching!”
In the meantime, you should be searching for Satellite on your favorite streaming services, and getting to know Geneviève Racette on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her official website! Keep reading for more from our conversation with the versatile singer-songwriter.
Congrats on your new album, Satellite! How does it feel to finally let the project out into the world?
This is my third full length, and I’ve also released a couple EPs, but this one is so personal I feel like I’m releasing my diary to the world. It’s nerve-wracking but it’s also a huge relief. We’ve been working on this album for the past two years and there’s been many ups and downs with the pandemic and all. But we did it! YAY!
Is there a certain song or lyric on Satellite you’re particularly proud of?
I love all of them obviously but “Someone” is really special to me for many reasons. It came from a really raw feeling. I’m so proud of having one of my teenage heroes, Dallas Green, sing on it.
Who are some artists that inspired the songs on Satellite?
JP Saxe, Taylor Swift, Donovan Woods, Kacey Musgraves, Lennon Stella, Noah Gundersen, Katie Pruitt.
The songs on Satellite flicker between English and French as a nod to your roots in Quebec. How does your approach to French songs differ from your approach to English songs?
To answer your question I would have to understand how my songwriting process works and honestly, I still don’t get it, haha! When I write it usually comes from a build-up of emotions and it just comes out the way it does, I don’t have much control over it!
Your latest single, “Someone,” is a collaboration with Dallas Green of City and Colour & Alexisonfire, who you first met after you covered his song “Hello, I’m In Delaware.” What has it been like to go from being a fan of his to working together on such a beautiful duet?
I love Alexisonfire and City and Colour. It was definitely exciting to release a song with Dallas. I’ve looked up to him for so long! When I look at the bigger picture, I’m not surprised this happened. It just makes sense, you know? Our voices blend so well and it was simply just meant to be.
My favorite song on the album is “Waiting For Your Call,” which explores the what-ifs of a relationship after it starts to breaks down (from how I understood it). What was the songwriting process like for that track?
I love how you interpret the song! To me, the song is about insecurities in a long-distance relationship. I wanted to write about my long-distance relationship but I didn’t really know how. I co-wrote this song with my friend Barbra Lica via FaceTime. I’m glad you like it!
Throughout Satellite, you explore your own self-growth through the lens of love and heartbreak. What was it like for you to have to push through those experiences, and what was it like to finally come out the other side stronger than ever?
When you’re going through a breakup, it’s really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m proud of myself for emotionally getting through it and allowing myself to fall in love again. Not all my questions about love and its cycles have been answered quite yet, but I’ll keep searching!