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Satellite Young Covers “Take On Me”

It’s year-end season, and I think one of the major trends that is going to get glossed over in lists and thinkpieces is how nostalgic everything felt this year. It’s unavoidable in Japan, where the biggest artist of the year was Namie Amuro and the biggest song resurrected Eurobeat. But it’s also playing out elsewhere — see the “Africa” effect, or the recent wave of videos just recreating old movies. This isn’t anything new, but does feel a touch more visible in 2018. So hey, Satellite Young covering A-ha’s “Take On Me” fits right in! Kind of, but not really actually. Satellite Young’s approach to nostalgia has always been delivered with a wink you don’t see in a lot of other memory-bait — their songs are about the failures of memories, and when they dress up like Steve Jobs its to poke fun at love in the 21st century, not imagine literally going back in time. I wouldn’t go so far as to say their “Take On Me” is subversive, but they at least mix it up enough to make it feel fresh. They sing in Japanese for one, and better still is the chorus, when the singing turns into a robotic squeak that’s just not possible from a human voice. It’s looking back, done with at least a little more flair than you’d expect. Listen above.