Stars talk influences behind new LP ‘From Capelton Hill’
Stars return on Friday (5/27) with their ninth album, From Capelton Hill. It's their first album in five years, and it's a welcome return, full of big-hearted, soaring indie rock songs, with some forays into synth pop and disco. Hear a few songs from it below.
Ahead of the album's release, we asked the band to tell us what inspired it, and members Torquil Campbell, Amy Millan, Evan Cranley, Chris Seligman, Patty McGee, and Chris McCarron each picked two things, including music, films, activities, and more. Read their picks, complete with commentary, below.
Stars are also about to begin their tour supporting the new album. It kicks off in Vancouver on June 4, with summer and fall dates in North America followed by February shows in Europe and the UK. See all dates below.
Before those shows start, Stars will do a special livestream show on Friday (5/27) to coincide with the album's release. "Live From Capelton Hill" streams on Bandcamp at 5 PM ET, and will feature songs from the new album as well as older favorites. Tickets are on sale now.
STARS' INFLUENCES BEHIND FROM CAPELTON HILL:
Seance on a Wet Afternoon
This is the movie from which the opening sample on the album is taken. It was made in the 60's in England and it's about a medium who kidnaps a child so she can then "find" the child and convince people that she really has supernatural powers. England produced so many amazing movies in the 60's and this is one of the best. Ghosts always haunt our music. And I love this story of faith and doubt and desperation.
Vauxhall and I by Morrissey
Morrissey is a sad old racist now. Fame, fame, fatal fame, it can play hideous tricks on the brain. But in the 90's he had an amazing run of beautiful pop records made with big budgets and produced a bunch of classic "big album" producers. I love the epicness of those records, and I think Jace Lasek brought a lot of what made those records so great into his production and mixing on From Capelton Hill. It's been heartbreaking to see Morrissey betray the kind of vulnerability and humanity so much of his music represents to me. But I still love those records. So much.
I was listening to her a lot as I found her breezy and soothing in such an uncertain time. Those 80’s Nora Ephron music soundtrack songs of a woman up against it all finding herself stronger alone. I was basically trying to channel my deepest Meryl Streep.
This is something I do when I’m stressed. I find places to swim. One night I went into the middle of the lake in the middle of the night while everyone else was asleep and I saw a gigantic meteor as I floated on my back looking at the sky. Those kind of moments really put things in perspective, us all here floating on a planet in space, and I also wondered if Bowie was maybe winking at me.
I borrowed a classical guitar from a friend of mine and wrote many jams with Chris Seligman that ended up becoming songs for our new record. It was a very vibey instrument, the kind of instrument that inspires you... when she found out I traveled out of the Province with the guitar, she became irritated and asked for it back... I quickly pivoted to bongos and kazoo for the rest of the session. True story!
June 2020 in southern Quebec was an amazing summer for fireflies. They were everywhere like stars in the sky.
My Yoga Practice
My practice of going inside rather than outside. Following my breath. Dissolving. Millions of shining lights hiding inside. Moving in slow motion. Just a drop, no landing. And how could this shape music.
Following The Sun
I love to walk with the sun. And often before I go into the studio to write. Life is a miracle. It blows my mind that the earth, moon and sun are constantly moving. In perfect alignment!
I was alone a lot during the conception of this record and found myself struggling with machines, trying to make music. I was also listening to a lot of '80s electro goth, and rediscovered "M.E." by Gary Numan. It's about a sentient robot who kills and eats everyone on the planet, and then finds itself lonely, eating dust, lamenting its circumstances. I found it very romantic and apropos, and I loved the heavy beats.
I quarantined an inordinate amount of times during the making of this record. During these periods of isolation and quiet reflection, I discovered that listening to mambo and playing mambo on the drums is a really fun and uplifting way to spend one's time. It reminded me that drums are for dancing.
I was searching for a new take on guitar from a younger generation. Blake Mills sounds like he could be 60 years old but he has fresh and exciting ideas.
Saint Cloud by Waxahatchee
We used a lot of acoustic guitars on the new record. I was looking for a modern record with acoustics all over it. Saint Cloud by Waxahatchee has tons on it. The tones and strumming were huge for me.
STARS: 2022 TOUR
06/04 - Vancouver, BC - Hollywood Theatre
06/06 - Seattle, WA - Madame Lou's
06/07 - Seattle, WA - Madame Lou's
06/08 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
06/11 - San Francisco, CA - August Hall
06/13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
06/14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
06/15 - Solana Beach CA - Belly Up Tavern
07/08 - Cherry Valley, ON - The Hayloft Dancehall
07/09 - Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON - Jackson Triggs Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series
07/12 - Calgary, AB - Wildhorse Saloon
09/10 - Waterloo, ON - Maxwell’s Theatre
09/11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
09/12 - Milwaukee, WI - Shank Hall
09/13 - St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam Bar & Hall
09/15 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues - Cambridge Room
09/16 - Houston, TX - House of Blues - Bronze Peacock Room
09/17 - Austin, TX - 3TEN ACL Live
09/21 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
09/22 - Nashville, TN - Basement East
09/23 - Detroit, MI - Magic Bag
09/24 - London, ON - London Music Hall
02/03/23 - Galway, IRE - Roisin Dubh
02/04/23 - Dublin, IRE - Whelans
02/05/23 - Cork, IRE - Cyprus Avenue
02/07/23 - Belfast, UK - Ulster Sports Club
02/08/23 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
02/09/23 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
02/10/23 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
02/11/23 - London, UK - Lafayette London
02/12/23 - London, UK - Lafayette London
02/14/23 - Paris, FR - Petit Bain
02/16/23 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
02/17/23 - Hamburg, DE - Knust
02/18/23 - Berlin, DE - Lido