Spotlight of the Week: Natural Satellite

Natural Satellite are a chamber pop duo consisting of Karli and Jasen Reisdorf. Based in Menasha, their music blends elements of pop, folk, and jazz with Karli on cello and vocals while Jasen is on saxophone. Their most recent single “Best You Can” came out in October.

ME: How did you guys get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?

KARLI: Actually, we met Allison virtually during the shutdown. She reached out to us, and I think we were the first band to do her virtual brunch concert that she had going on. So it was unique circumstances to meet someone through Zoom and make a connection that way, but we did get to meet her in person over the summer and it was a very wonderful thing to have happen for us during the shutdown, connecting with her.

ME: Same; I also connected with her during the shutdown and it’s great that the scene has someone like her to make things work in a sustainable and safe way.

ME: So you guys are based in Menasha, right?

KARLI: Correct.

ME: Tell me, what is there to do in Menasha? What’s it known for?

KARLI: The paper mill (laughs). I honestly love Menasha and I think it’s a hidden gem in the valley. The downtown is wonderful; I really think it’s becoming something.

JASEN: Yeah, ever since Faith Technologies built a facility that’s like their new main headquarters in downtown Menasha, I think that’s helped bring some money in there. It’s starting to grow and thrive; there’s a Midwest Sun Splash music festival that gets put on right downtown. It was kind of dumpy when we first moved here but it’s gotten better.

KARLI: It’s been fun to see it grow and I think the people here are wonderful. I love when we’re playing a show and we say that we’re from Menasha and there’s the one person that’s like “yeah! Menasha!” (laughs).

ME: Right on, that’s awesome. I’ve never been so I’m always curious what each little town has to offer. There’s always something.

ME: So, winter is upon us. What is your favorite snow activity to do?

KARLI: We don’t do anything (laughs).

JASEN: Drinking.

ME: Well, we do live in the beer-soaked tundra.

KARLI: That’s true! I don’t know; we really don’t have any snow activities but now that we have a daughter, I’m hoping to do more of that this winter, like the sledding and snowman-making.

JASEN: And watching football.

KARLI: We’re kind of lame (laughs).

ME: That’s okay; that sounds like how most people spend their winter. Do you guys ever throw snowballs at each other?

JASEN: No, I’d throw my arm out.

KARLI: You better not throw a snowball at me!

ME: Yeah, that shit can hurt, like if it has ice in it. That’s why you’d get in trouble at recess for that.

ME: Tell me about your most recent song “Best You Can.”

KARLI: We decided that we were going to start recording ourselves because we need more music out there. We can play as good as we can but it doesn’t matter if we don’t have anything online for people to listen to, so that was the motivation. We had a show that didn’t go very well and I was kind of upset about it, and then I was like “you know what? we tried our best and that’s all you can do” so that’s where those words came from. We recorded it here at home and it was exciting; it was like the first project we got to do here in our house together, and we’re working on more music because of it now.

ME: Very nice. That was exactly what my last question was: what are you guys working on now? What are your goals for 2022?

JASEN: Well, hopefully we just continue to stack on each success that we have so that it can continue to blossom into more opportunities as we’ve seen things happen for us this year. I’m working with a group here in Appleton with some of my old college friends, and we’re doing some original jazz stuff, so that’s something I want to work on a little more too. And for us, producing more too.

KARLI: Yeah, it’s just going to be a year of creating and jumping onto new opportunities. We’re hoping to record a full-length album this year.

Visit Natural Satellite’s website here.

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