When modern rock bands try to reach for the stars, so to speak, they rarely avoid sounding overblown and a little too pretentious for their own good. Although astronaut rockers (is that a proper term?) Starset hasn’t quite avoided these pitfalls the music they craft is actually quite exceptional. They have a clear passion for their craft and the stories they want to tell and it bleeds into every part of their performance. They’re still a relatively fresh band so if you haven’t heard of them yet here are ten of my personal favourites to introduce you to their epic universe.
10. “Let It Die” – Transmissions (2014)
Although “Let It Die” is one of Starset’s more accessible cuts it makes for an excellent introduction to the band’s sound. It showcases everything the band does well, from the pulsating synths to the dramatic, larger than life chorus. The lyrics, like most of the band’s songs, aren’t the deepest or most thought-provoking material ever put to tape but the desperation and pain of love lost bleeds into the music to create a truly visceral experience.
9. “Frequency” – Vessels (2017)
“Frequency” sees Starset taking the next step in the evolution of their sound, blending the soaring melodies of Transmissions with the heavier elements present here and it all works to create one (inter)stellar tune.
8. “Monster” – Vessels (2017)
7. “Telepathic” – Vessels (2017)
The second half of Vessels took a long time to grow on me but “Telepathic” was the first to eventually steal my attention. Dustin’s vocals float atop its spacey, cavernous production before exploding into a brilliant chorus. It’s one of Vessels’ finest moments.
6. “Dark On Me” – Transmissions (2014)
If there is one thing I wish Starset wrote more of it is ballads like this one. “Dark On Me” is a cut from Transmissions that I find myself coming back to more and more.
5. “Starlight” – Vessels (2017)
4. “Into the Unkown” – Vessels (2017)
Although the pacing of the verses can be a little choppy the song deserves an ardent mention for its chorus. It is one of brightest, most captivating moments of Starset’s career thus far.
3. “Halo” – Transmissions (2014)
I remember when my good friend showed me Transmissions for the first time. His excitement for the record was infectious as we booted up youtube and searched up this song. I was hooked from the instant the first chorus flew through the speakers and I love it just as much today.
2. “Antigravity” – Transmissions (2014)
1. “Ricochet” – Vessels (2017)
“Ricochet” became my favourite Starset tune from the moment I first gave ear to it and my thoughts haven’t changed since. The chorus boasts Dustin’s strongest, most emotionally charged vocal performance to date and the build in the bridge is nothing short of electrifying. If there is only one song by these guys you’ll ever hear let it be this one.