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Kid Koala, Music to Draw to: Satellite

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Del Cowie

Music to Draw to: Satellite is the latest musical project from creative polymath Kid Koala. Like many of his projects, Kid Koala draws on his imagination to deliver a multi-sensory multimedia affair. Music to Draw to: Satellite is the first album Kid Koala, a.k.a. Eric San, has produced without using samples, and it features him playing all instruments on the record.

The album’s origins lie in the creation of Kid Koala’s previous graphic novels Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet. When writing the books, Kid Koala reached for ambient recordings to play in the background. He organized an event called Music to Draw To in his native Montreal, where people were invited to participate in drawing and writing while the music played. Kid Koala is set to transport that creative experience across the country as he tours Music to Draw To: Satellite, inviting people in the audience to become members of a turntable orchestra.

In line with Kid Koala's innovative approach to art, a space-age couple is the focus of the 18 tracks on Satellite. “[The songs] carry a lyrical narrative revolving around an idea of a couple in the not-so-far future who are separated when one of them decides to fly to another planet, unable to return,” says Kid Koala in a note describing his concert performance for the album. "I came up with the concept for Satellite, a show in which audience members will participate in creating these musical pieces live each night.”

Many of the album’s songs feature Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini's disarmingly alluring voice, added to the lyrics Kid Koala wrote himself. Tracks like “Collapser” are a good example of what the combination yields, coaxing entrancing refrains from Torrini. Elsewhere, the ambience of “The Observable Universe,” a layered instrumental that gradually grows more intense, is reflective of how Music to Draw To: Satellite can be both prominent and shrouded at the same time, hidden in plain sight.