Turn Off The Stars’ self-titled debut release positions the Toronto quartet on level with Coldplay, Editors, and Hard Fi in their fluid synth-rock textures and Britpop echoes. Produced by Dan Broobeck, the album shows sophistication in their melodies and a comely glisten in their production. The flickers and shine of the guitar effects seeps into the shimmering keyboards making the movements glitter and resonate as the rhythm section brings an upbeat throb into the mixes.
Starting off with “”Wasn’t Ready,” Turn Off The Stars dives right into a British, synth-pop sound. There is a modern melodic rock glint in their songs and crystalline threading that makes the melodies instantly enjoyable, from the mid-tempo “Falling Into You” to the electro pop ballad “Getaway.” There are also orchestral pop elements like the echoing violins on “Hours & Days.”
The lyrics are introspective and walk the listener through a daze, like in “Nowhere Skies” when Mike Walker sings: “You’re Taking Me To A Higher Place/ The world goes away but I feel the same/ And I finally feel warm/ And I finally feel right/ And I finally feel good/ Finally tonight.” There is an understanding in Walker’s cryptic verses that somehow projects a universality. His vocals rise, float and straddle the instrument phrases that engorge and glimmer lustrously.
Turn Off the Stars have superbly crafted an album that takes some of the finest aspects of Britpop, synth rock, and modern melodic rock and coalesced them into multi-tiered melodies that glisten and resonant with a haunting vibe and an all-around gorgeous sensibility.