Music brings out all sorts of different emotions in us. And when an artist or band can convey all those emotions into their music, something special is created. It touches you, inspires you, and you can’t get enough of it. Finding albums that can achieve this can be a daunting task, but with the (early, digital) release of their fourth album, In Our Bedroom After The War, Stars have damn near perfected it.
With previous releases such as Heart and Set Yourself On Fire setting the bar for Stars, In Our Bedroom After The War continues that progression and takes it even further. The chemistry of vocalists Tourquil Campbell and Amy Millan is stunning throughout the album, as each voice is always complimented nicely by the accompanying instrumentation. Such beauty is achieved on the track “The Night Starts Here,” with Evan Cranley’s bass grooving over Pat McGee’s steady drumbeat as Chris Seligman’s keys bring a sense of enchantment over the song.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. “Take Me To The Riot” features verses carried by Seligman’s playing and a chorus erupting with lush composition. “My Favourite Book” is a light piano-based pop song featuring the wonderful vocals of Millan.
McGee’s drumming is the unsung hero of the album, as he shines on “Midnight Coward” as well as many other tracks throughout. Really, every member of Stars is a top-notch player of their instrument. “The Ghost Of Genova Heights” shows the versatility of the album, as Campbell sings over a LCD Soundsystem-esque beat.
The album is taken to a different level with “Personal” though. The haunting, delicate track shares the tale of failed attempt at finding love between strangers, voiced beautifully by Campbell and Millan. Backed by sparsely played piano, you immediately focus on how well Campbell and Millan control the song. It’s absolutely stunning, and sure to be at the top of many “best song” lists.
“Barricade” showcases Campbell’s vocal prowess over a slowly played piano melody. The fast paced pop of “Bitches In Tokyo” is driven by Millan’s buzzing guitar and Cranley and McGee’s lively rhythm work. The title track closes out the album in a fashion that spans over six and a half minutes. It plays like an anthem bursting with triumph, as the song builds up its intensity throughout, being matched vocally by Campbell and Millan, and enhanced with gentle orchestration. It leaves you with your senses abuzz, as you try to digest everything you’ve just heard and cannot wait to press repeat.
After my first initial listen of In Our Bedroom After The War, I was in a euphoric state of mind, having not hearing music this beautiful and elegant since Sufjan Stevens released Illinois. What Stars have done is make their music more accessible without compromising it. The results are stunning. Make In Our Bedroom After The War a priority purchase, because this group of Canadians have truly made something special.