Friday, December 24, 2010


It’s Christmas week and there’s still plenty of good new music being released. In fact Manchester’s Piccadilly Records said this week that they couldn’t recall a December in which so much quality, non-Christmas, music had been issued. I’ve talked about some Christmas music that doesn’t sound seasonal already this week so before I succumb to 48 hours of ditties about snow and tinsel and sleigh-rides here is a record released this week that is most definitely not Christmas music and if anything belongs to the summer.

Shimmering Stars are a late twenty-something four-piece based in Vancouver. They started out playing – of course - in the singer’s parents’ garage. Their debut four-song single is out this week in the UK (last month in North America). It’s not quite a record of two halves but there are two distinct groupings of tunes. The titles alone of three of the songs - ‘Let It Be Me’, ‘Believe’ and ‘I’m Gonna Try’ - tap into that late 50s pop sound where youthful dreams and innocent desires were first given a voice in popular culture. And the songs themselves match this – short bursts of yearning romance and reverbed guitar and sugar-spun harmonies with crackling, fuzzy edges. If ‘I’m Gonna Try’ didn’t possess that echoing reverb that signals a contemporary band taking on a decades earlier sound, you’d put money on it being The Everly Brothers.

Shimmering Stars - I'm Gonna Try from Salazar on Vimeo.

Then in the other camp is lead song ‘East Van Girls’ which shrugs off some of the innocence and replaces it with darker, edgy guitars and a heavier sixties garage vibe. Even at a slender 1 minutes and 47 seconds it’s a joyous slice of garage-pop and a great foil to its companion songs. The 7” vinyl is limited to 300 copies worldwide and in a neat piece of serendipity, Piccadilly Records is one of the places where you can get your hands on a copy. Shimmering Stars are completing their debut album due for release in March 2011.

Shimmering Stars - A1 East Van Girls by AlmostMusique

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