stellastarr* are an American indie rock band based in New York City. Formed in 2000, the quartet of Shawn Christensen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Amanda Tannen (bass, vocals), Arthur Kremer (percussion, keyboards), and Michael Jurin (lead guitar, vocals) released their self-titled debut album three years later under critical acclaim. This 10-track effort drew comparisons to The Cure, Joy Division, and Pixies (i.e., the usual suspects) and established them as one of New York’s most promising bands.
stellastarr* managed to avoid the sophomore slump with Harmonies For The Haunted (2005), an equally brilliant and atmospheric album, but then went awfully quiet. Fear not though because now they are back with a vengeance. Shedding the major label deal that they had for their first two albums, the band has gone back to basics and released their third full-length Civilized on its own label. Christensen’s vocals still stand somewhere between the melodrama of Robert Smith and David Byrne’s sly playfulness, but this time the tunes are more aggressive, bouncy and upbeat; the throbbing bass and the angular guitars alone are enough to justify the price of admission (a measly $3.99, I kid you not), so head over to their website for purchasing details.