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Michigan-based psychedelic/chamber/space/pop/rock giants Starling Electric originated as the recording project of singer/songwriter Caleb Dillon. A multi-instrumentalist and avid home recordist, the Traverse City native channeled his love of melodic '60s and '70s pop and art rock into a wealth of material, around which coalesced the initial lineup of drummer John Fossum, and guitarists Jason DeCamillis and Christian Blackmore Anderson. Basing themselves out of Ann Arbor, the quartet readied their debut and unleashed an impressive stage show that revealed four strong multi-instrumentalists who were just as comfortable launching an air-raid siren of post-rock feedback as they were in re-creating multi-layered Pet Sounds-style harmonies. Starling Electric's debut album, Clouded Staircase, was self-released in the summer of 2006, garnering both regional and national acclaim, including praise from Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (Posies/Big Star), as well as Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard, the latter of whom invited the band to open a series of shows on his 2006 East Coast tour. The group signed with Bar/None Records the following year, which re-released Clouded Staircase nationally in 2008. In addition to winning over critics, songs from their debut found their way into films like the 2009 Harrison Ford vehicle Crossing Over and acclaimed indie Letting Go.
Over the next several years, the lineup once again shifted as DeCamillis departed and new recruits Ben Collins and Aaron Diehl — both of indie pop trio Lightning Love — were brought into the fold. Also during this period, the band sprouted a new fuzz-pop side project called the Boys Themselves, led by guitarist Christian Blackmore Anderson and featuring core members Caleb Dillon and John Fossum on bass and drums, respectively. All the while, Starling Electric's second-wave lineup continued recording, eventually emerging in the spring of 2016 with their follow-up LP Electric Company.