Stars – Tour EP

Probably not a legitimate release, especially considering “The Aspidistra Flies” is called “Umbrellas.” Don’t be fooled by the implication of liveness in the name, this is actually an EP of demos, with the exception of one that’s played live on radio. Here there be two songs from “Heart” (including the title track, so I can listen to its cloying six minutes of schlock for a third time in three days!), one non-album track (don’t worry, it sucks) and the entirety of the The Comeback EP, which was a nice little EP.

Back in this EP’s day demos consisted entirely of Torky and Amy and the wacky sounds they make with their keyboards, so nothing unexpected here, but they’re good enough to keep the synth noises to a This release doesn’t matter and I’m sober, so here are my poorly written song notes:

Heart – “sometimes the tv is like a lover / singing softly as you fall asleep”

namsy-pansy way of singing everything, like the way he says “snow”

Amy Milan much better singer – my problem isn’t really with her voice – stripped of instrumentation the chorus is actually much better. No lame horns or unnecessary strings stringing up the damned song. Voice so lovely ha ha ha! Still, this song’s a loser song. Not that I hate all songs about persistent feelings, but this is SO droopy that thinking about it nearly ruins the magic of making out.

Violent – successfully kinda creepy, until the silly whispering-to-try-to-be-creepy and “tense” bloopy noises coda.

Crush – Like early Metric! Nice to hear Amy get a whole song – her vocal styling works so much better for these demos, Mr. Emotesalot sounds good with a full band, but here – blech. Song is so airy it’s almost not here, but makes me horribly nostalgic for some reason. Maybe it’s the part where it sounds like 2002? But I hated being alive in 2002 for decent reasons, so I don’t know what’s up in this bitch.

Umbrellas – Actually “The Aspiditra Flies” – what the fuck are “sweet lies” anyway? Who tells these in their relationships? Still a lovely song. For a goddamned change the instrumentation is suitable to the subject matter. Singing about something small and sad? A cute three-note piano riff is a good way to do that unless you know damn right what you’re getting into. Just one ill-used violin and you’re solidly in narm territory. I still don’t know how umbrellas could ever hide one’s love. Unless umbrellas have magical emotion-blocking powers and nobody’s ever told me.

The Comeback – A meh soft rock song. Nice to hear some guitar in there, but the song still serves little purpose. Why’s the fade-out so long?

Drive-By – Another mediocre soft rocker. You “pump this song” to remind someone that you’re still here? Wonderful, she’ll be reminded that she left you to date that alcoholic personal trainer that didn’t have to be taught how to fuck her.

Cote De Neiges – That’s French for “Cote of Neiges.” Probably a nice song for wandering through a new neighbourhood of Montreal in the middle of winter, but for the rest of us it’s just an above-average piano/drums/distorted guitar instrumental.

The Woods – Still an outlier in the catalogue. There’s still that strange voice sample and the creaky door background noise. Actually the sample goes on much longer, so now you can hear the full fascinating sample of an English woman talking about losing her scarf. This is actually a song that works better with the louder production because the song itself is more or less inconsequential. Also, I have no idea what this one’s all about. Something like three feet, I reckon.

6/10

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