[midlife 150] #120: stars “undertow”

July 15, 2010

Cover for Sad Robots EP by Stars

#120 Undertow by Stars, taken from Sad Robots EP, 2008 [buy from Stars official site]

Melodic and melancholic – two of my favourite musical adjectives, and happily both apply to this beautiful song by Canadian indie darlings Stars. Originally released as a tour exclusive, Sad Robots EP eschews the mood swings of their other output (Stars are capable of being if not jaunty then at least upbeat) in favour of a kind of lush, self-aware, reassuring sadness.

Undertow‘s stripped-back electronic pop palette allows the elegaic lyrics to flow unimpeded, broken only temporarily by an extended bridge that returns the listener “to the floor, to the floor…” It closes with the ultimate rhetorical question for melancholics: “When will it stop?”

(Trivia: the cover features Boilerplate – a fictitious Victorian robot that, Forrest Gump-like, inserts itself into real American historical events, created in 2000 by Paul Guinan. Worth a diversion)

This review is part of close to 94 ‘s [midlife 150] series, which counts down favourite music 1970-2009.


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