Stars (Canadian band)
|Genres||Indie pop, indie rock, chamber pop, new wave|
|Labels||ATO, Soft Revolution, Arts & Crafts, Le Grand Magistery, Paper Bag|
|Associated acts||Broken Social Scene|
Stars is a Canadian indie pop/rock band based in Montreal, Quebec. Since forming in 2000 they have released nine albums and a number of EPs. Their music has been nominated for two Juno Awards and two Polaris Music Prizes.
All members of Stars grew up in Toronto, Ontario. Torquil Campbell and Christopher Seligman recorded the first Stars album Nightsongs in New York in 1999. When they began to do live shows, they called in Evan Cranley, a childhood friend, to play bass. Cranley then recruited Amy Millan to be part of the band.
After a short stint in New York, the four musicians 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, which also hosted 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. Heart appeared on the !earshot National Top 50 chart in March, 2003, and won critical acclaim.
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, and, along with the band's live performances, established them on the national indie rock scene in Canada.
Stars have cited a wide variety of musical influences ranging from Berlioz to Outkast, citing among others Sid Barrett, Paddy McAloon, New Order, The Smiths, Brian Wilson, and 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. 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 friends 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 through their online store and also sold it during live shows.
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.
In June, 2010 the band released their fifth studio album, The Five Ghosts. In Canada, the album was released via Soft Revolution, the band's own new label. It has been distributed worldwide via Vagrant Records.
The band's sixth studio album, The North, was released on September 4, 2012 via ATO Records. It 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.
Stars performed at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival as well as the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival, celebrating the tenth anniversary of their label Arts & Crafts Productions.
The band released their seventh album, No One Is Lost, in October, 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.
Stars were on the line-up for the WAYHOME festival in the summer of 2016, north of Toronto.
Musical style and influence
Stars' music has been described as "beautiful, eloquent indie pop", 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, Continuum, Chuck, One Week, indie film Tanner Hall (2009), the 2011 film Like Crazy, and Studio C.
- Nightsongs (2001)
- Heart (2003)
- Set Yourself on Fire (2004)
- In Our Bedroom After the War (2007)
- Do You Trust Your Friends? (Remix album) (2007)
- The Five Ghosts (June 22, 2010)
- The North (September 4, 2012)
- No One Is Lost (October 14, 2014)
- There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light (October 13, 2017)
- A Lot of Little Lies for the Sake of One Big Truth (EP) (2001)
- The Comeback (EP) (2001)
- Dead Child Stars (EP) (2003)
- Sad Robots (EP) (2008)
- The Séance (EP) (2010)
- Lost & Found (EP) (2015)
|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
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2008||In Our Bedroom After the War||Polaris Music Prize||Nominated|
|2011||The Five Ghosts||Polaris Music Prize||Nominated|
- Live! At the Rehearsal Hall
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- "'Your Ex-Lover is Dead' turns 15: exploring the brilliance behind Stars' biggest hit" CBC Music , May 17, 2019
- "The National Top 50 For the Week Ending: Tuesday, March 4, 2003". !earshot.
- "Stars". AllMusic Biography by Kenyon Hopkin
- "Stars Fight Album Leak, Release In Our Bedroom After the War On iTunes Immediately". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- "Arts & Crafts Memphis - Here Comes A City". Arts & Crafts. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- "Stars Announce New Album: The Five Ghosts". Exclaim! Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- "Stars Unveil New LP With Synth-Swoony 'The Theory of Relativity'". Spin Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Stars Return With 'The North,' New Song". Prefix Mag. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "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.
- "Listen to Stars' The North with exclusive track-by-track commentary from Torquil Campbell". National Post. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- "PAUSE". Wayhome.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- "The Strombo Show presents Hip 30". CBC Music. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- "Stars – "Fluorescent Light"". Stereogum. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- "Post: Stars set to play The Vogue in March | Indianapolis, Indiana". Indy.com. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "A Completely Biased Ranking of the 60 Best Canadian Indie Rock Songs of the 00s Part II". Vice, Cam Lindsay Apr 10 2017
- "The Show". Ctv.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Lavigne leads Juno honour roll". Toronto Star. 2005-02-08.
- "Weakerthans, Edwards, Stars among Polaris finalists". Ctv.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
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