Stars (Canadian band)

Stars (Canadian band)

Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, Stockholm 2005
Background information
Genres Indie pop, indie rock
Years active 2000–present
Labels Soft Revolution, Arts & Crafts, Le Grand Magistery, Paper Bag
Associated acts Broken Social Scene
Torquil Campbell
Amy Millan
Evan Cranley
Chris Seligman
Pat McGee

Stars is an indie pop band from Canada. Originally formed in Toronto by vocalist Torquil Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman, the band relocated to New York City and then subsequently to Montreal, where they are currently based.



All members of the band are also members of the indie band Broken Social Scene, with whom they once shared a record label, Arts & Crafts. Campbell is an actor who has appeared on the television shows Sex and the City and Law & Order. Millan has released two solo albums, Honey from the Tombs in 2006 and Masters of the Burial in 2009.

On their website, the band has noted that their name was chosen with prior knowledge of the short-lived project by Syd Barrett.[1] They have cited a wide variety of musical likes and influences ranging from Berlioz to Outkast, citing among others Barrett, Paddy McAloon, New Order, The Smiths, Brian Wilson, Momus, and Broken Social Scene. 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 then more than two months away, Stars made the album available in digital form on July 10, 2007.[2] The CD release included a bonus DVD.

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.

On October 20, 2008, they opened for the British superstars Coldplay in Ottawa, Ontario as part of the Viva la Vida Tour.

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, Pitchfork Media reported that the band would be releasing 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]

Musical style and influence

Stars' music has been described as "beautiful, eloquent indie pop",[5] 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 (2000 TV series), The O.C., Warehouse 13, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Degrassi: Now or Never, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Skins and Chuck.




Juno nominations

The Juno Awards are presented by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Stars has received two nominations.[6][7]

Year Nominated 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

The Polaris Music Prize is awarded annually to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit. Stars has received two nominations.[8]

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

TV appearances

  • Live! At the Rehearsal Hall
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien[9]
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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