Rolling Stone called Starsailor one of the top ten bands to watch in 2001. Early in 2002 however, a majority of the United States had never heard of them, and Rolling Stone declared them a 'miss'
Starsailor is made up of James Walsh (guitar and vocals), James Stelfox (bass), Barry Westhead (piano), and Ben Byrne (drums). Stelfox and Byrne had played together for ten years before inviting Walsh to the group after seeing him perform at a school choir. Westhead joined later on and Starsailor was born.
Love is Here, their debut album sold over a million copies world wide, most of them being in Europe. After a world wide tour, including the U.S., most of the world awaited their second album. Legendary producer Phil Spector came out of a two decade retirement to start the collaboration with the band, however sessions staled, and the band only recorded two tracks with him as producer. They continued on without Spector, and went with engineer Danton Supple as co-producer. The result is an album Music Week says "A huge leap forward from their million-selling debut, this album cements Starsailor's position as one of the most important new bands in Britain."
Silence is Easy, released on January 27, is Starsailor's second album. After the usually pressure to make a second album as good as the first,(the pressure being in Europe) the critics shut up and gave the album amazing remarks. Barney Jameson of Play Music Magazine said "..a record that's going to make them your favorite band. Buy this and play it until your CD player breaks." Powerful comments about a band not many Americans have heard of. The 11 track, 40 minute album has a bit of everything. The lead single and title track, 'Silence is Easy' not only ruled the charts in Europe but is now making its way up the U.S. charts with a powerful beat and strong guitar. The album has stronger touch the whole way through with exceptions to 'Some of Us', 'White Dove', and 'Telling Them'which are the softer songs on the record. However, even the softer songs have a little punch behind them. 'Four to the Floor' is the most powerful song on the album with a solid beat to it along with some great guitar/piano riffs. Songs like 'Shark Food' and 'Music was Saved' are songs that will never be on the radio that could become your favorite songs. The album is a perfect example of CD you could leave in your car and listen to all the way through multiple times without getting sick of it. The album is a must have for everyone that wants to hear something different.
Starsailor recently finished a short 13 show U.S. tour promoting Silence is Easy. The tour ranged across the country from New York to Los Angeles. However, on January 29, they put on a show to remember in Minneapolis at the Fine Line Music Cafe. After a 50 minute set that almost put the crowd to sleep by Matthew Ryan, the crowd was defiantly ready for some excitement. Around 10:20, the lights went down, and 'Shark Food', the sixth track from their new album began to play through the speakers. After a minute and a half of waiting, the band walked on stage, and performed one of the most amazing starts you will ever see by any performer. As the song played in the background, the band got ready, smiled at each other, and picked up at the perfect moment in the song along with the lights (which would rival Dave Matthews Band in my mind). After the song finished, they continued straight into 'Music Was Saved'. The atmosphere was set for the night. As the night went on, the set varied from both Love is Here and Silence is Easy. It included songs 'Alcoholic', 'Poor Misguided Fool', 'Fever', and 'Telling Them'. However, the show was filled with more than just good songs. Three Fourths of the way through the set, the fire alarm went off which gave a scare considering the Fine Line once had a fire which burned most of the building to a crisp. The show was still the most exciting moment of the night including a cover of Neil Young's 'Southern Man' and a great version of their recent single 'Silence is Easy'. The highlights of the evening were 'Four to the Floor', in which James did a little dance with the song, and the finishing song 'Good Souls'. The 80 minute set was one of the best shows I have ever seen. They are a band in which you have to see them live to appreciate their talent.
Q Magazine calls them "Superb". In deed Starsailor is 'Superb' but I would call them more than that, I would call them amazing. Even if you haven't heard a thing about them, if you listen to 'Four to the Floor' on Silence is Easy just once, you will be hooked. Fortunately for everyone, they are planning more tour dates in March for those who missed them. If you have a chance, go see them, you won't be disappointed.
by: Brian Kostek