It’s Sex and Death for Stars
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Montreal band blends the politics of war with the politics of love at 9:30 Club.
“Here’s a song about fucking someone to death, we hope you enjoyit,” Torquil Campbell said chipperly before his band, Stars, broke into “One More Night (Your Ex-Love Remains Dead)” at the 9:30 ClubSaturday evening (Oct. 20). Well then. Following Australian piano-quirksinger New Buffalo, and touring behind recent release In Our Bedroom After the War,the Montreal collective spent much of the night making Freud proud,illuminating the twisting connections between sex and death.
Thoughthe band is a sextet, the focus was solely on Campbell and co-vocalistAmy Millan. Habitués of heartbreak hotels, the two took turns rippingthemselves apart, notably on “Personal,” where the singers alternatedsole possession of the (literal) spotlight in order to tell the tale ofa Craigslist romance that never happened. Elsewhere, Campbell got hisMorrissey on (“Take Me to the Riot”) and Millan put her crystal pipeson full display (“Calendar Girl”), but it was when the two got togetheron “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” an indie rock ditty that had the audacityto become an anthem, that the power of the group came into full force.Crowds hushed, choruses swelled, and the flowers that had resided onthe amps throughout the night appeared to be blooming with the risingvoices.
We asked: What does “In Our Bedroom After the War,” as a phrase, mean?