Star Rover – Star Rover (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

At a place where post-rock meets ambient cinematics, where folktronica meets avant-garde pop, where adventurousness and experimentation are the order of the day, where sweetness and light trump more earnest and overegged musicianship, that’s where you find this eponymous album from Star Rover.

Although previous releases have already indicated the path that the band were travelling, the freedom from touring that the pandemic and the enforced lockdowns ushered in, saw the duo holed up in a Long Island beach house with their producer Vira Byramji and a whole lot of time at their disposal.

“We let the record come to uswe often let the sounds dictate the material just as much as any pre-arranged ideas we brought,” says Jeremy Gustin of their attitude and process. And what emerged is quite special. There is a certain drifting, dream state haziness that seems to weave through, around and beyond the music, cloaking its often ornate and intricate riffs and melodies, smoothing out the spiralling riffs and offering up a beautiful and sometimes complex soundscape.

The fantastic Ghosts of New York State is perhaps the track where all of their elements come together perfectly, a bubbling and buoyant song, slightly off-kilter, mathy and marvellous in its conception, yet floating and delicate too. Little Red Shark is a wonderfully strange instrumental, again running a sonic gamut from shimmering spaciousness to cavernous, raw-edged bursts of musical punctuation. Heart’s Attack is slinky and sublime and The Delicate Boxer is both poised and punchy.

In a word…gorgeous. In two words…bloody gorgeous!

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