Artist

Stars

  • Picture of Stars © Emily Wilson
  • Picture of Stars
  • Picture of Stars

Biography

Stars is a Canadian indie pop and rock band.

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 their album 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 Montréal 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. 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 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. 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.

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 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.

On June 21, 2012, the band announced the upcoming release of their sixth studio album on their website, The North, which was released on September 4, 2012 via ATO Records. With the announcement, the band also offered 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 along with the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival, celebrating the tenth anniversary of their label Arts & Crafts Productions.

Stars released their seventh album, No One Is Lost, on October 14, 2014.

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, Chuck, One Week, indie film Tanner Hall (2009) and the 2011 film Like Crazy.

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

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

Timeline