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]