Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on May 5th 2010 11:30AM by Innika La Fontaine
The roaring audience -- ranging from young indie-punks to sensible middle-aged types -- affirmed their response, and only intensified when Campbell reasoned: "You've never heard this s--- before, we've never played this s--- before, so let's get together on this."
The Montreal-based pop quintet debuted material from their upcoming album, 'The Five Ghosts,' in an intimate, sold-out showcase at Ottawa's Live Lounge Tuesday night.
Their first set -- an eleven-song showcase -- was dedicated to their new release and signals a shift from dance-pop to a retro sound on par with new-wave heavyweights Depeche Mode and New Order.
Acknowledging their '80s-esque resonance, Campbell urged the audience to dust off the record players when their new record is released on June 22 and play the tracks on vinyl.
The band made liberal use of synths, drum machines and laser beam sound effects for the initial half of the gig. The new album is set to be more electronic, a little down-tempo and feature tracks worthy of both supervised school proms and raging house parties.
"This record is kind of like our lover," singer Amy Millan quipped toward the end of their showcase. "We've spent so much time in private and now we're finally like, 'That's right, we're going out. I don't care what you think about it or how you feel...we're going steady."
"And much like a normal relationship, after two years we'll be f---ing sick of it," Campbell jokingly chimed in after Millan. "It will only represent everything we hate about ourselves."
Coincidentally, many new lyrics revolve around relationships, love, break-ups and haunting ex-lovers. And because no one had the chance to learn the words prior to their performance, most looked on in hushed captivation.
The quintet -- all branches on the Broken Social Scene tree -- have been working on material for 'The Five Ghosts' over the last year. Though they've gone through the process of unveiling a new record many times -- generally to broad acclaim, including a Juno Award nomination for 'Set Yourself on Fire' and a Polaris Music Prize nod for 'In Our Bedroom After the War' -- the band admitted it was the first time they'd previewed an entire album to a crowd that had never heard it.
"Wow, it's so strange," singer Amy Millan admitted. "I've never done anything like this before. It's like being a virgin or something."
If they were nervous about premiering material over a year in the making to a hungry audience, it didn't show. Millan and Campbell appeared perfectly at ease harmonizing over everything from ballads to bass-heavy beats and chatting casually between songs. Only once did they have to laugh off missing a beat mid-song.
"Is there a lot of people here in school?" Millan asked. "I feel like I'm presenting my thesis or something."
Reminding fans why they came to the show in the first place, Stars' obliged fans with sing-along songs from their catalogue of sweet pop hits like 'Take Me to the Riot' and 'The Night Starts Here' for their second set. The audience showed their appreciation by chanting back lyrics at the top of their lungs and roaring with applause.
Stars' tour continues across North America though May and June.