With seemingly flawless transition, Toronto 5-piece Stars have developed from a regularly macabre yet majestic indie-rock band, into a bright indie-pop slash 80’s retro act, without leaving fans of previous work searching the night’s skies to fill the gap.
Their new album The North gives its consumer an energetic and refreshing product, this album could well be Stars’ big break, and to current fans not too ‘cool’ to embrace their favourite sub-mainstream band appealing to the masses, this will be a winner for both new and old fans alike.
The North is an ear-pleasing sonic variety box, playing host to instrumental richness with deep bass mingling with glimmering synth, 808 style drums alongside stadium rattling rock kits and vocal lines from Amy Millan and Torquill Campbell intimately entwining throughout the album.
The North is somewhat ‘safe’ and comparisons to other artists such as ‘Kavinsky’ and ‘Thievery Corporation’ are easy to draw, despite this, only slightly knocking the apple cart has paid dividends for Stars in retaining most of their original style whilst implementing a wholly natural development.
Getting off to a flying start ‘The Theory of Relativity’ sets the tone with delightful major tonality and sugar sweet production with a Male/Female Verse/Chorus compromise. Not going amiss here, nostalgic lyrical content a regular display in Stars’ previous work. ‘Do You Want to Die Together?’ gives us light mellow pop and heavy rock ballad contrast, a mid album awakener and a chance for Stars display another string on their bow, as well as another beautiful display of Millan and Torquill’s ability to use duet to turn a song from good to great.
The North isn’t without echoes of albums past, with the more sombre ‘Lights Changing Colour’ and ‘400’, both of which are tips of the hat to previous ventures, and both necessities in creating this full flavoured, well rounded winner.