Stars (Canadian band)

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Stars
Stars live 20050707.jpg
Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, Stockholm 2005
Background information
GenresIndie pop, indie rock, chamber pop, new wave
Years active2000–present
LabelsATO, Soft Revolution, Arts & Crafts, Le Grand Magistery, Paper Bag
Associated actsBroken Social Scene
Memphis
Metric
Websitewww.youarestars.com
MembersTorquil Campbell
Amy Millan
Evan Cranley
Chris Seligman
Patrick McGee
Chris McCarron

Stars is a Canadian indie pop/rock band formed in 2000.

History[edit]

All members of Stars grew up in Toronto. Torquil Campbell and Christopher Seligman started the first record Nightsongs in New York in 1999. When starting to play live shows they called in Evan Cranley, a childhood friend, to play bass. Cranley then recruited Amy Millan. The four of them then all moved to Montreal and began to work on the second full-length album Heart. In Montreal they met Patrick Mcgee, who became their drummer. Heart was released on the new label Arts&Crafts along with their friends Broken Social Scene. While on their first North American tour together, Stars and Broken Social Scene shared and swapped members on a nightly basis.

After critical acclaim for Heart, Stars rented a house in the Eastern Townships in the middle of winter. For a month and a half the five of them lived together and wrote Set Yourself on Fire. It was recorded at Studio Plateau in Montreal and was produced by the band and Tom McFall. The record received good reviews. Set Yourself on Fire and their highly acclaimed live performances established them as one of the most successful bands in Canada.

Campbell is currently an active member of Memphis.[1] Millan has released two solo albums, Honey from the Tombs in 2006 and Masters of the Burial in 2009.

They have cited a wide variety of musical likes and influences ranging from Berlioz to Outkast, citing among others Sid Barrett, Paddy McAloon, New Order, The Smiths, Brian Wilson, Momus. They covered The Smiths' "This Charming Man" on 2001's Nightsongs and The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" in 2005. Other indie artists have been guest collaborators on many of their tracks, especially for an early period including the release of their first LP.

Anticipating that their album In Our Bedroom After the War would leak at some point between the final mixing and the official release, Stars was one of the first bands to make their album available in digital form the day after it was completed on July 10, 2007.[2] The CD release included a bonus DVD, a film called "Are we here now". It is a collection of interviews with the band and the band's close allies as well as live performances around the globe, it was directed by Anthony Seck.

On September 1, 2008, the band released the EP Sad Robots exclusively through their online store and on tour. The EP is available as a physical release or an online download.

Their single "Celebration Guns" is the title song for the television series ZOS: Zone of Separation and was provided for free as part of a collaboration with Moms Against Climate Change.[3]

Stars have covered The Smiths' "Asleep" for American Laundromat Records' charity CD "Sing Me To Sleep - Indie Lullabies". The CD was released worldwide on May 18, 2010.

On March 9, 2010, the band announced they would release their fifth studio album, The Five Ghosts, on June 22, 2010. In Canada, the album was released via Soft Revolution, the band's own new label. It has been distributed worldwide via Vagrant Records.[4]

The band's sixth studio album, The North, was released on September 4, 2012 via ATO Records. The album was promoted by offering a free download of the first single "The Theory of Relativity" in exchange for signing up for the band's official e-mail list.[5][6]

Stars performed at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival along with the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival, celebrating the tenth anniversary of their label Arts & Crafts Productions.[7]

Stars released their seventh album, No One Is Lost, on October 14, 2014. Chris McCarron, formerly of Land of Talk, officially joined the band as the lead guitarist. He had previously contributed to The North and toured with the band.[8]

Stars were on the line-up for the WAYHOME festival summer 2016 north of Toronto.[9]

On January 1, 2017, Stars was part of CBC's The Strombo Show's Hip 30. Canadian bands covered songs from The Tragically Hip to commemorate the Hip's 30th anniversary.[10]

Stars released their eighth album, There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light,[11] produced by Peter Katis, on October 13, 2017 on Last Gang Records worldwide.[12]

Musical style and influence[edit]

Stars' music has been described as "beautiful, eloquent indie pop",[13] characterized by lush instrumentation, nimble production and mixing, narrative lyrics, and soft but nuanced vocals. The band's style has evolved from an electronic-pop sound as heard on Nightsongs (released on Le Grand Magistery record label) to more rock-based instrumentation on their following three full-length albums, reflecting the permanent additions of singer-guitarist Amy Millan and bassist Evan Cranley on Heart (released on Paper Bag Records), and eventually drummer Pat McGee on Set Yourself on Fire.

Their songs have been featured on Queer as Folk, Alias, The O.C., Warehouse 13, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, Skins, Chuck, One Week, indie film Tanner Hall (2009) and the 2011 film Like Crazy.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums
EPs

Awards[edit]

Juno nominations[edit]

The Juno Awards are presented by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Stars has received two nominations.[15][16]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2004 Heart Alternative Album of the Year Nominated
2005 Set Yourself on Fire Alternative Album of the Year Nominated

Polaris Music Prizes[edit]

The Polaris Music Prize is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit. Stars has received two nominations.[17]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2008 In Our Bedroom After the War Polaris Music Prize Nominated
2011 The Five Ghosts Polaris Music Prize Nominated

TV appearances[edit]

  • Live! At the Rehearsal Hall
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Arts & Crafts Memphis - Here Comes A City". Arts & Crafts. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Stars Fight Album Leak, Release In Our Bedroom After the War On iTunes Immediately". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  3. ^ MomsTakeAction (28 October 2009). "Moms Against Climate Change - "Demonstration"". YouTube. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Stars Announce New Album: The Five Ghosts". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
  5. ^ "Stars Unveil New LP With Synth-Swoony 'The Theory of Relativity'". Spin Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "Stars Return With 'The North,' New Song". Prefix Mag. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  7. ^ "Stars Join Feist, Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party & More For A&C Field Trip Festival". Arts & Crafts. Archived from the original on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Listen to Stars' The North with exclusive track-by-track commentary from Torquil Campbell". National Post. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  9. ^ "PAUSE". Wayhome.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ "The Strombo Show presents Hip 30". CBC Music. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  11. ^ Stars [@youarestars] (28 July 2017). "OUR NEW ALBUM IS CALLED "THERE IS NO LOVE IN FLUORESCENT LIGHT"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ "Stars – "Fluorescent Light"". Stereogum. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Post: Stars set to play The Vogue in March | Indianapolis, Indiana". Indy.com. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  14. ^ "A Completely Biased Ranking of the 60 Best Canadian Indie Rock Songs of the 00s Part II". Vice, Cam Lindsay Apr 10 2017
  15. ^ "The Show". Ctv.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  16. ^ "Lavigne leads Juno honour roll". Toronto Star. 2005-02-08.
  17. ^ "Weakerthans, Edwards, Stars among Polaris finalists". Ctv.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-17.

External links[edit]