Stars – “Dead Hearts”

By Samuel.

Click the album art for the NPR stream of The Five Ghosts

Stars’ first album since 2007 is The Five Ghosts, which will be released June 22nd. It’s available for full streaming on NPR’s site as a part of their First Listen series.

Stars has the market cornered on sad ballads with boy-girl vocals and some indie-pop flavorings. This continues with The Five Ghosts and even though Stars can’t touch their own incredible “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” opener “Dead Hearts” is one of their best.

Vocalists Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell bring back their signature call-and-response vocals, thankfully giving a little more attention to Campbell’s voice than most of their other songs do. While Millan has an incredible voice in her own right, she seems to dominate the harmonies and I particularly like Campbell’s, which is part of the reason I like “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” so much.

I also like the lyrics a lot, which call back innocent childhood puppy love in lieu of heartbreak and disconnect. It’s a curious subject matter for Stars, though its wrapped in the same themes as the rest of their stuff.

The line I like the most is:

Was there one you saw too clearly?
Did they seem too real to you?

Stars | Dead Hearts [download]

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