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Violent Hearts

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Vancouver’s Shimmering Stars have discovered a spot-on formula for casting dark spells rooted in ‘60s pop sounds. Where a number of current lo-fi bands celebrate the brighter side of giants like Phil Spector and The Beach Boys, Shimmering Stars—contrary to their name—move in shadowy, unsettled emotional terrain (think Roy Orbison) with mesmerizingly beautiful results. Snare drums boom in cavernous echo, vocals are awash in reverb, cymbals and tambourines glint through distorted guitar washes. The Stars’ sound is lighter than that of The Raveonettes and more brooding than Best Coast; it’s a carefully constructed balance that vocalist Rory McClure nurtures soundly with his golden, dulcet tones, which pulse with both longing and a protective emotional ennui. All three members contribute to the heavenly chorus of harmony here (think Everly Brothers), from the songs that drift like sad prom dance numbers (“I’m Gonna Try,” “No One”) to the more hopeful, sun-seeking pop tunes (“Nervous Breakdown,” “East Van Girls”) and unabashed heartstring-tuggers (“Sabians,” “Dancing to Music I Hate”). Violent Hearts is truly something special.


Formed: 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Vancouver-based dream pop trio Shimmering Stars filter the dark undertones of ‘50s and ‘60s influences like Del Shannon and Phil Spector through a modern lens to create a haunting, poignant tone that sounds equal parts familiar and fresh. The band, comprised of guitarists Rory McClure and Clint Lofkrantz, bassist Felix Fung, and drummer Andrew Dergousoff, who share vocal duties, formed in spring 2010 after being inspired by vintage Everly Brothers concert footage. Later that year and in early 2011,...
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Violent Hearts, Shimmering Stars
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