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Monday, May 12, 2008

myspace music monday: Days Like Stars

For tomorrow's release of Death Cab for Cutie's Narrow Stairs, I've decided to make all posts this week Death Cab-related. So for today's myspace music monday, I browsed through all the artists who listed Death Cab as either an influence or a "sounds like." The result? People are liars! None of the dozens of artists that I heard even resembled DCFC. So we're left with the best band that I stumbled during today's browsing. It may not sound like Death Cab for Cutie, but it's still pretty decent.

Days Like Stars

Genres: Indie/Rock/Pop
Location: Sydney, Australia
Band Members: Billy Coleman (Vocals, Guitar), Adrian Sheather (Lead Guitar), Toby Shain (Bass and Keyboards), Anthony Layton (Drums)
Influences: Death Cab for Cutie, Motor Ace, Bluebottle Kiss, Snow Patrol, Explosions in the Sky, Deloris.

The Short of It: More Snow Patrol than Death Cab. More contemporary Christian than indie rock.

"Pale Signs" - Ok, so when I say they sound like Snow Patrol I really do mean it. "Pale Signs" is almost a dead ringer for that other band. But the song is good, and you know because it was featured on Love My Way, a now-cancelled Australian TV drama. For all of the American readers out there, think of the kind of song you'd expect to see at the end-of-show montage at the end of a Grey's Anatomy season finale. You get the idea. A very energetic and empowering track.

"Devoted Youth" - Snow Patrol comparison clear? Check. CCM comparison? Coming right up! Now I grew up in church, and I grew up hearing a lot of Christian music as a result. This song sounds a lot like late Audio Adrenaline or even Chris Tomlin to some extent. But as is growing to be the theme with this band, the song is very uplifting. "Devoted Youth" gives its album Fight the Sunset its namesake with the line, "If we ever wake up again, we'll fight the sunset to the end." Good stuff, really.

"Thunderstorm" - Billy has quite the voice, and his lyrics aren't half bad either. Granted, he's no Ben Gibbard (his voice is stronger, but his lyrics are a little more cliche'). His vocals on this song are some of the most impressive on the band's myspace page. Unfortunately, the song itself isn't as interesting as the rest of the music. It all seems quite cookie-cutterish and it never really affects you as much as the band probably would've liked.
"City" - This is an awesome song that starts out with a very funky rock sound in the line of Maroon 5. Of course it eventually transforms into another Snow Patrol-esque anthem in the chorus. Billy passionately sings, "In light of night/ we'll stand and watch/ over the city as it weeps/ cause I just though/ we should know/ that our hearts don't sink alone," over the band's emphatic instrumentation. It's a great song, and probably my favorite on the page.

"Afterthought" - If there was ever a song where the band truly sounded like Death Cab for Cutie, it's not on the page. But this one is as close as they come. A solid, solemn piano ballad, Billy's vocals are the centerpiece of the song, singing, "Though we may touch/ I'm only an afterthought." Hearing the band tone things down a bit and take on an entirely different feel is extremely welcomed. The song barely features any instrumentation at all, and what is there is either brief or so far off in the distance that it's more atmospheric than central. "Afterthought" is more than its title suggests. It is an undeniably gorgeous song.

The Long of It: Days Like Stars may not be the most original band on the planet. But what they lack in originality, they more than make up for with passion and energy. None of the songs featured on the band's page come off as forced or faux, and all of them have the ability to make an impact on an unsuspecting listener. The band is incredibly talented, and their sound is polished beyond belief. They may not be equivalent to Death Cab for Cutie, but you'd be hard pressed to find a band that is. For what they do, though, you really couldn't get much better than this.

Days Like Stars' myspace Page
Official Site
Music Video for "Showtime"

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