89.3 The Current presents STARS
In celebration of the upcoming US & Canada tour, STARS have created a special EP for our fans! The You Guys Are Awesome EP includes two tracks from STARS and 4 songs from Cold Specks, Milo Greene, Said The Whale, & Yukon Blonde - all available for free download on http://noisetrade.com/stars. Enjoy these tracks from our tour friends, we can’t wait to see you at the show!
A Song Is A Weapon. So goes the title of a track from The North – the latest stunning offering from Canada’s best kept secret indie institution – STARS. And with those fighting words, STARS are back, having never gone away. Over the course of more than a decade together, STARS have consistently proven themselves adept at producing incisively sharp, beautifully orchestrated pop music. Their sixth album, The North, is no exception. In many ways, it is their finest record to date – a culmination of all they have learned and lost; a record of what it is to love today, of how to live a life in music. “This is the five of us attacking each song and turning it into something that is all of ours,” says Amy Millan, who shares lead vocals with Torquil Campbell.
For many people, it is 2004’s Set Yourself On Fire that defined what STARS truly had to offer. The political, honest and heartfelt songwriting, always twisted in the dual themes of sex and death, appealed to fans in its directness and sincerity. The North is an insistent return to this top form, in no small part due to the band’s decision to revisit the same formula that made Set Yourself On Fire a hit: to co-produce the record themselves and entrust the mix once again to the talents of engineer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Temper Trap.) “Tony gave us the record we had dreamed of in our heads,” says drummer Patty McGee. “Chris (Seligman, the band’s keyboardist) and I would drive around L.A. every evening after the day’s session, with the top down, and realize how lucky we were that this had all come together, that after all this time, it was still coming together.”
“Musically, thematically and lyrically, The North is the essential distillation of everything we’ve been working on for a long time,” adds Campbell. The politics are still there too. “The title of the record is about an idea of the north that is being torn apart by Harper’s (Canada’s Prime Minister) corporate greed. It’s also a nod both to where we are from and the kind of music that has influenced us.” And STARS have influenced some themselves. Chillwave and all manner of orchestral pop that abounds today owe a debt to STARS. With The North, the group are laying claim to rare ground. Twelve years deep, they are making it clear that they are a generational band, a band that will still be here long after other more fashionable acts have faded and a band that without any hype has become one of the most influential and respected acts from North of America. The North finds STARS older, not wiser, still fighting and loving; still making music because now, more than ever, it is in their blood; it is all they know how to do. STARS have survived attacks and success, trends and life; death and drama both. They present here, in The North, plainly and honestly, a document that speaks moments to decades, inches to cascades. Listen with an open heart. There are rewards in song, always. Here, they count.
Milo Greene is not real. However, the fictitious character that is Milo Greene is very much alive. His makers perceive him as an intellectual entrepreneur. In his poised and dignified manner, he keeps things close to the vest and lets everyone know who’s boss. He is exactly the type of man you would want to represent you in any business venture…and that is exactly why he was created. In the DIY music world, having proper representation is key.
In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band's hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a JUNO Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story that has allowed the group — featuring dual frontmen Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester, drummer Spencer Schoening, keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown and bassist Nathan Shaw — to take its place among the Canadian indie rock elite.