Montreal band, Stars return with their first new album in five years, From Capelton Hill, is their ninth album, following on from 2017’s There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light and is due out 27th May 2022 on Last Gang Records.
The album was composed between Chris Seligman and Evan Cranley over the first half of 2020. After a first attempt to assemble the record remotely with mixed results, the band convened in Montreal to record with Marcus Paquin and Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) at Studio MixArts, Lasek’s Breakglass Studio, and the band’s own space, Zoomer. Pat McGee says once they finally gathered in a room together, everything clicked – first as friends, then as a working band. From Capelton Hill is ultimately about a group of people who have spent more than 20 years together, and who have now started to face the awful, necessary calculus each human eventually must do: when will all of this end?
Musically, From Capelton Hill feels like walking into Stars’ familiar teenage bedroom. Torquil Campbell says it cuts to the band’s founding principles: it is brimming with gothic, dazzling ‘80s and ‘90s Britpop arrangements, but rendered with intimacy and warmth rather than with cold, digital remove. A wealth of horn and string arrangements unfold across the record in true Stars fashion, dreamy and macabre. More than ever, From Capelton Hill feels like a direct channeling of Stars’ decades-long pursuit. “What I love about the album,” Amy Millan reflects, “is that we’re chasing the truth of the matter rather than chasing a hook. We’re just telling the truth.”