Pound for pound,Stars might just be the best pop band on the planet right now, and âMidnight Cowardâ is a nice little snapshot of their best side, even if it's not their best song.
Introductions? Nah, we dont need 'em. We'll just start. Melodies? Oh yes, we've got those. Lots of them. Lyrics? Yes, we can write lyrics. Good ones too. Arrangements? We piss 'em. Change in tempo? Yes, and it doesn't sound forced either. It's all there, and it all sounds good.
But best of all, Stars have Amy Millan and her creamy purr of a voice. âSweetness, sweetness never suits meâ is her opening gambit in this song, and it's wonderfully at odds with the quality of her voice. Another thing that Stars have in their locker is the interplay between Millan's voice and that of Torquil Campbell, and it's evident again here. There's real (and rare) chemistry in their vocal partnership. They swap verses, they duet, and it all sounds effortless somehow.
Smart, sussed, hooky, memorable and crafty, with a crescendo of glittery guitars and a payoff of âI can see what's coming ... but I'm not saying itâ, Stars manage to walk the lines between winsome and knowing, and wide-eyed and cynical. Go out and buy their albums now, or I'll be round for a word or two.