Canadian intelli-pop rockers Stars return with their long-awaited fifth album The Five Ghosts.
An apt title, as opener “Dead Hearts” has a haunting melodic quality to it, mainly down to the interchanging vocals from front duo Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan. If that sounds like Stars take it easy on this disc, far from it. Yes the summer dreaminess and haunting melodies are evident throughout the album, but well balanced with up-tempo beats and synthesized emotions.
The sound of The Five Ghosts lies somewhere between Saint Etienne, Rilo Kiley, early Cranberries and Echobelly’s Great Things. Standout track is single “Fixed”, whose speedy melody catches you by surprise and grips tightly for three and a half minutes.
Considering their long break, it’s not a knockout return. Some might say overproduced. But it’s more than enough to keep the fans happy and might even win some new ones along the way.
If you fancy checking out Stars, they’re playing London’s Heaven on 1st September.