Stars

The North (ATO)

ACL Music Fest Sunday Reviews

Stars

The North (ATO)

Despite the quintet's aging membership, mortgages, marriages, and kids, Montreal-based Stars continues its quest for love only to get caught up in the turmoil of romance. Sixth platter The North returns to the group's twentysomething love songs, weighted by classic duets between vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan. "The Theory of Relativity" opens with pop synth swirls and a drum machine, recalling overly dancey fifth LP The Five Ghosts. Unlike that brief departure from Stars' signature dream pop, this new jumper pulls in the reins and neither oversimplifies its dance beats nor polishes them too brightly. "Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It," unlike the title, rolls another exercise in restraint. Stars looks to its whimsical past but thumps it with electronic glitch, a most successful combo of two straddled aesthetics. (1:15pm, Barton Springs stage)

***

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