Stars’ US shows are this week; Torquil Campbell discusses his Top 10 of 2021

Canadian greats Stars are bringing "The Together Tour," where they're celebrating two decades of being a band, to the Northeast this week. They're currently in NYC, where they actually formed in 2000,  for two shows at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (12/8) and Thursday, The shows were originally with special guest Lloyd Cole, but he had to bow out, and now Shamir will be opening both. Tickets are still available.

Stars are also playing Philadelphia on Saturday (12/11 @ World Cafe Live) and Allston, MA on Sunday (12/12 @ Brighton Music Hall). Both of those dates are with Kevin Devine.

Meanwhile, we asked Stars bandleader Torquil Campbell for his list of favorite music of 2021, and he obliged, sending us a list that includes Cassandra Jenkins, Dry Cleaning, Kacey Musgraves, Penelope Isles, Kings of Convenience, and more. Check that out, complete with commentary, below.


Penelope Isles - Which Way to Happy
Beautifully melodic and a great reminder of just how good Dave Fridmann is at making records.

Kacy Hill - Simple, Sweet and Smiling
I love records that make Los Angeles sound lonely. And records that live entirely inside their own world. This record does both those things.

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
Will I ever get tired of English people muttering over guitar music? No, I won't. I am English, and our complaints always sound better set to music. I fucking LOVE this record.

Andrew Wasylyk - Balgay Hill: Morning in Magnolia
Music for solving a mystery.

Charles Spearin - My City of Starlings
I've known Charlie since I was 9 years old, and he has always been on a different plane from the rest of us. The world is very beautiful through Charlie's eyes. It's like he's visiting the planet and doesn't want to miss anything.

Kacey Musgraves - Star Crossed
Amy's album of the year and one of my favourites too. If you're into melody and clarity of ideas, you're probably a Kacey Musgraves fan.

Kings of Convenience - Peace or Love
The band I have probably listened to more than any other in the last 15 years or so. Literally better at calming me down than a benzo.

Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
“Hard Drive” will forever be the song of this pandemic for me. But the rest of the album is absolutely gorgeous as well.

Real Lies - “I Wander” / “Nicotine Patch”/ “You Were in Love”
This band has been putting out flawless single after flawless single this year. The kind of the band I wish I was in. The sound of late nights alone in a dying city. Fucking cool.

Susannah McCorkle- “The Waters of March”
It's just one song, and it was recorded years ago, but it's what I needed this year, and I promise, it's what you need too. Hang in there. I bet you're a good person. It's going to be ok.