Take Desert Stars. They’ve been on the scene with different lineups for almost five years now (full disclosure: my old band played their first show), but the album out today, “Habit Shackles,” is their first full-length release. And it’s a doozy: listen to the single we’ve secured for you below and you may find yourself canceling plans to get to the album release party at Cameo tonight.
“I never thought in a million years I would hold it in my hand,” said singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Janelle Best, whose bedroom at Lorimer and Metropolitan doubles as the band’s practice space. “It’s like having a baby, you know? We all put so much hard work and love into it.”
This is music somehow simultaneously capable of putting you in a meditative trance and making you feel like you could crush the world in the palm of your hand: the sound — described by Best as “melodic and blissed-out” — is thick with reverb and laden with eerie yet catchy-as-hell harmonies.
“We try to keep it beautiful, and emotional and a little dark,” said Best. “Initially when Carrie [Ashley Hill] came into the band she was like, ‘It’s an Aztec thundercloud in the sky with a tepee!’ So, that’s the kind of stuff we were going for but [now] we just get in there and try to do harmonies and melodies and keep it really simple, but yet [we] go for it.”
Tonight’s show at Cameo Gallery will also feature Shining Mirrors, See Through, and a DJ set by Caveman. What’s next for Best and her other bandmates, guitarist Eric Altesleben and drummer Gregg Giuffré? “I really want to go out and play a lot more shows and travel,” she said. “That’s the goal here. But who knows, the sky is the limit, right? Let’s just go for it. I mean, we pretty much are going for it.”