Single review – Ready Steady Go! by Stars on Fire (2021) (Cloudberry Records)
Stars on Fire is the recording project of Seoul based Californian, Christoph Mark, who attracted the critical acclaim of many of the micro blogs that matter with his two, 2019 EP’s, Blue Skies Aboveand Songs for The Summer (both released by Mexico’s Emmas House Records).
Both tended to appeal to jangle-pop / shoegaze fans alike as his “rough, mischevious, jangle-pop” (as perfectly described by the Here Comes The Flood zine) was darted through a core that was all gloriously dank gaze.
Having become the subject of the affections superlative Cloudberry Records label, this vinyl 7″ single is undoubtedly my favourite release from the act yet. Essentially the gaze is still there on both tracks, but it feels less burdened by darkness, as chunky, almost groove laden, post-punk basslines, act as a foundation for Mark’s most unencumbered jangled riffs yet. It is just an altogether more vibrant, fresher sound than he has released before.
This feeling of dynamic lucidity, is also emphasized as the Mark’s usual effets on the vocals are diminished in comparison to what has gone before, allowing his hitherto, undeciperable vocal prowess, to cement the gaze and jangle disparity perfectly.
Hopefully this track will see Stars on Fire move increasingly towards the jangle end of the jangle-gaze genre, as these are two tracks that totally excel and appear to be as much a testament to the production of Chris Romero (he of Royal Landscaping Society, jangly beauty) as the artist himself.
Out on vinyl 7″ via Cloudberry Records on 24.09.21, grab yourself a copy here.