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DIFFERENT STARS (2004)
Different Stars - Click to view!With the recent American success of the space launch and landing, eyes have turned once again to the sky, particularly at night, when space can be glimpsed a bit easier. I don't know if astronauts carry play lists with them into space, or if there are such things as sound tracks to inspire the voyages. But in my opinion, Trespassers William is a band that would fit such an occasion. And I say this with the utmost respect and dignity; their sound is one of the most attractive otherworldly creations I have ever heard. The instrumental lineup seems common enough; you've got your basic guitars, keys, drums, and the singer to craft a melody. But this native southern California band (now residing in Seattle) takes instruments typically used for loud, harsh rock songs and instead weaves a musical tapestry delicate enough to sleep beneath. In fact, rather than limiting their art to a rocket launch, I'll broaden the playing field and say Different Stars is the perfect sound track for dreams.

Anna-Lynne pens lyrics of simplistic complexity, an oxymoron to be sure, but a real gem all the same. In "Lie In The Sound" she sings, "Say my name and I'll lie in the sound / What is love but whatever my heart needs around?" "Alone" reads, "You gave me cold glass love / You've got teeth for biting and you've bore a hole in me." Each song explores male/female relationships and the brutal reality of love spoiling in reality's heat. In saying, "All of my songs are for you / All of my songs are sad" ("Love You More"), Anna-Lynne sums up the message of Different Stars. Like the haunting imprint of a bright light on the eye's cornea, these songs hang like delicate cobwebs in the mind. Lines like "Now I'm too afraid to push you from my mind / Like the fear of forgetting what light is like when you close your eyes" ("What Could I Say") can speak to the very state of these compositions; to push them from the mind is to forget a luminous imprint.

Of course, if these words weren't crafted against such deliciously haunting music, they might not scar the soul so deeply. Repetition is key through digital delay pedals, reverb, and the gentle pulsing of high keys. Anna-Lynne's light vocals cut the air with crispness reminiscent of glass. There resides an intrinsic sorrow that fittingly keeps the vocals from jumping across too many notes. This is a concoction of psycadelic folk as soothing as daytime fog. But rather than serve as background music for the rush of life, the experimental nature begs for your attention. Trespassers William can be as easily ignored as a fairy riding a set of clouds to the moon.

Different Stars is depressingly good. A world of heartache is soothed by balming instrumentation. The weeping willow cry of "Love was supposed to save me" ("Untitled") sends shivers because it remains so sonically appealing. This is the CD for candlelight, for lonely nights, and for stargazing long after the astronauts come home.
- Hollie Stewart
November 2005
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