Stars Sad Robots EP

Stars got one word right in their newest EP’s title: this record is sad. The Montreal-based band might have electronically altered vocals on album opener "Maintenance Hall, 4am” and shimmery-sounding synths on "A Thread Cut With A Carving Knife” but that doesn’t mean that the robot reference means it’s devoid of emotion. The one live track, "Going, Going, Gone,” makes a strong case that this isn’t an emotionless EP when Amy Millan sings, "I knew it wasn’t right/I watched in fear and doubt/It’s got to be that way” while Torquil Campbell whispers back "Going, going, gone.” And just when you think things are picking up with the more upbeat tempo of "14 Forever,” Stars bring you right back down with the title track’s French lyrics, which play on the fact that the same word is used to say "it’s raining” and "I’m crying.” The band bring us another dose of their beautiful, sonically soaring brand of orchestral-sounding pop with the Sad Robots EP, but steer clear of it on those days when you aren’t feeling so cheery. (Independent)