Memphis - Here Comes A City
Last year’s The Five Ghosts was a speed bump for Canadian electro-pop band Stars. Though generally one of Canada’s most exciting groups, Ghosts seemed clumsy, with muddy production and an absence of the emotion that permeated their previous efforts. Luckily, dedicated fans of Stars can get their fill on Memphis’ Here Comes A City. That’s not to take away from the uniqueness of this duo, comprised of Stars frontman Torquil Campbell and Chris Dumont.
For starters, Here Comes A City is less heavily stylized than anything in Stars’ catalogue. Campbell and Dumont create an extraordinary amount of space with minimal, airy instrumentation and still achieve blissful pop status, especially on the back-to-back ‘Apocalypse Pop Song’ and ‘I Want the Lights On After Dark.’ The real thing that makes this band go, though, is Campbell. It’s a difficult thing to describe exactly how one is charming, but Campbell most certainly is. His greatest strength is his ability to express political and social deficiencies with a joie de vivre – a heartfelt “fuck it” that comes from a knowing place in his soul. He’s your wise uncle and your wide-eyed little brother all in one. And with those traits as its guiding force it may come as no surprise that Here Comes A City isn’t the most focused record in the world. But despite some songs that meander, this is a comfort record.
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