[Picture by Laura Boyd]
Golda Schein is a woman after my own heart! The New York City-based musician describes herself as a “singer and songwriter of a size,” and seeks to serve as a role model to the next generation of women—and everyone else—so they can see themselves up on stage, too.
Named a Body Image Hero by The Huffington Post, Golda has continued her work as an advocate for body positivity and acceptance through her latest album, Be My Satellite, which includes messages of self care and love for all. The album was released on May 17th, 2019, and serves as a follow-up to Golda’s debut EP, A Little Luck.
“Planet of a Girl” starts the album off with a bright, twangy acoustic guitar line that effectively reflects Golda’s overall messages of positivity. Steady and true, the instrumentals provide a pleasant backing for Golda’s full-bodied vocals throughout the entirety of the track. The lyrics themselves avoid cliches while sticking to the familiar and relatable themes typically present in a love song: “I’m a planet of a girl, I know/Won’t you be my satellite.” The extended space metaphor centers the song nicely around a theme that paints a picture with a galaxy of colors for listeners.
The second song of the album, “Head in the Sand,” continues the space motif from the first track and the beautiful album cover. The instrumentals are energetic and driving, and the lyrics equally as decisive: “Got a round trip ticket to Mars/It only takes a few minutes to get there/So simple it’s almost bizarre/But when I go, I leave all these little cares/Well, I’ve been to outer space/I need a soft place to land/I’m just happier over here/With my head in the sand/Can we save the human race?/We all just do what we can.” The diction itself is poetic without the addition of music, but the instrumentals and phrasing add the little touches to the lyrics that make “Head in the Sand” truly special.
[Image courtesy of Golda Schein]
“Invisible Ink” continues the energy Golda established in the previous tracks with loaded lyrics and authentic instrumentals. The track feels well-paced with interesting tempo changes and well-placed pauses to let each part of the song shine. Golda’s voice stands out in “Invisible Ink,” showcasing her abilities effectively. I could easily imagine hearing this track on the radio and turning it up to appreciate the little details.
“Tryin Too Hard” brings a bluesy feel to Golda’s vocals. The swinging tones suit her style, blending well with the subdued instrumentals to create a a warm wave of sound. Although “Tryin Too Hard” isn’t the standout of the album, it’s pleasant listening on its own. The message of the song is important as well: Don’t pretend to be something you’re not to impress someone!
The acoustic guitar rhythms at the beginning of “Shield” brought me into the mood of the song instantly. The lyrics send a powerful statement: “Make your own light, darling/Don’t rely on them/They’ll promise you magic/But they’re only men/Yeah, they’re only men.” In today’s world where women are still controlled and seen as less than people, songs like “Shield” are a crucial anthem for women to remind us “Don’t lose your shield, girl.” For its feminist message and unapologetic delivery—not to mention Golda’s vocal and instrumental talent—”Shield” is one of my favorites from Be My Satellite.
The vocal harmonies in “A Sunny Day Like This” are beautiful. Taking advantage of the simplicity to the track, Golda infuses true feeling into her voice instead of opting for frills. She focuses her lyrics around the dress she wore “to your funeral on a sunny day like this,” using it as a grounding point to create a touching tribute to someone who seemed truly special. The track feels appropriate for the topic, but is also placed well in the album’s order.
“Reject You First” addresses the pain caused to others when we reject them for fear they’ll reject us in the end. Golda deals with the complexity of this topic with grace, apologizing to a man she rejected first because it “seemed easier that way.” Her lyrics are honest and heartfelt: “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, John/You were sweet to me and I got it wrong/If the situation were reversed/You’d think it best to reject me first/Can’t bear to sing you another verse.” Much like in “A Sunny Day Like This,” the simple instrumentals give plenty of room for the lyrics and meaning to shine without the song becoming overcrowded.
[Picture by Patrick Merino]
The eighth track of the album is titled,”Everything I Do.” It begins with mysterious instrumentals before Golda’s vocals come in, more aggressive than previous tracks. This new feel works well for me: I appreciate the intensity in Golda’s voice mixing with the building instrumentals behind her. That being said, I do wish the track had more of a climax. In each of my rounds of listening, I was waiting for Golda to have her big moment and really push her voice to the limit. Without a climax, “Everything I Do” seems more like a filler, but I think it could be explored and expanded further.
“Touchdown” is the shortest song of Be My Satellite with a running time of 2:53. Golda’s vocals are full of life as she sings, “When we touch down, it’ll be okay/When we touch down, we’re here to stay/When we touch down, our life begins.” The phrasing of “Touchdown” creates plenty of audio depth to match Golda’s masterful storytelling as she reveals her love story through conversations and scenes, piece by piece. The contrast between Golda’s jumpy, quick phrasing of the chorus and smoother performance through the rest of the track makes “Touchdown” a strong addition to Be My Satellite.
“Hang On Until Then” is another wonderful example of Golda’s masterful lyricism: “Can anything feel right again?/My dread could wake the dead/Someone picked the locks on Pandora’s box/And tore the world from end to end.” Without being cliche, Golda manages to effectively convey the hope and desperation of waiting for the “tides to turn again” in a world that might not be what we hoped for. “Hang on Until Then” is a wonderful song of hope for the currently hopeless.
The last song of Be My Satellite is “Your Way Back When.” It brings the album to a flawless close, showing off the themes in the album’s other songs with quietly powerful instrumentals and raw emotion in Golda’s powerful vocals. Her diction continues to impress as well: “Somewhere deep you’ve hidden me/Down in the cellar of your memory/And if you find me there/Do you pretend I’ve been unfair?”
In a world where “as many as 80% of ten-year-old girls have been on diets,” we’re lucky to have women like Golda Schein to lead the way in loving ourselves and shaking off society’s awful standards.
Get to know Golda:
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