‘The Ken Burns Effect’
“The Ken Burns Effect… will not only defy characterization, but will probably be the big break for one of New York’s most sublime and continuously undiscovered bands” – Paper Magazine
After quietly releasing a number of highly-praised, mostly hand-traded cult releases over several years, Stars Like Fleas re-emerged in 2006 with new clothing, sonic plastic surgery, and a desire to shed its underground trappings and engage audiences in the flesh. Almost instantly creating a stir and an overnight name for themselves in the overcrowded and sentiment-suspicious Brooklyn music scene, the Fleas began selling out exponentially larger shows in secret spaces as well as NYC’s famed Bowery Ballroom, North Six and other marquis clubs, performing with admirers among the likes of Deerhoof, Grizzly Bear, Excepter, Gang Gang Dance, Comets On Fire, Man Man, Beirut, Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio, and Akron/Family (among others).
Stars Like Fleas may truly represent a new branch on America’s phylogenetic musical tree, distinguishing themselves through an unlikely alchemy where anxiety and confrontation accompany something candid, joyous and unashamedly romantic. In already-mythic, transformational performances (praised in Wire Magazine, Time Out, the Village Voice, etc, and countless blogs), Stars Like Fleas create music of its own haunted species; as accessible and humane as it is unsettling and extreme.
Pitchfork/Spin’s Julianne Shepherd blogged recently of the Fleas: “their ease and onstage familiarity feels like being invited to the family dinner …possibly the best band i have seen in New York”; Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste echoed this sentiment in a Dusted Magazine interview – “absolutely mind blowing”; and Salon.com said “few bands have the resolve to push their music as far toward formlessness, as well as the skill and concentration to coax that formlessness into something listenable, coherent and beautiful….brilliant”
The Ken Burns Effect, a document of the band’s growth over the past year, is an iconoclastic but more immediate, organic and lush album than its predecessor (Sun Lights Down On The Fence, an album that received reams of critical praise and which Pitchfork gave an 8.2 and called “intimate and utterly beautiful”). When Fleas-fan, the composer Nico Muhly (arranger to Björk, Grizzly Bear, and Antony & The Jonsons) helped pass along early recordings drafts from The Ken Burns Effect to Björk producer/collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson, the band were invited to Iceland to complete and mix in the fall of 2006.
Mixed by Ben Frost (Björk, Gomez) and mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Múm, Sigur Rós), at Greenhouse Studios in Reyjkavik (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy [The Letting Go, 2006], CocoRosie [The Adventures Of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, forthcoming in 2007]).
Features (ex) members/contributors of Beirut, Tall Firs, TV On The Radio, Celebration, Fiery Furnaces, Mercury Rev, The Silent League and additional contributions by Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Sean Lennon, Fantomas), Thomas Bartlett (Yoko Ono, The National, Doveman, David Byrne, Antony & The Johnsons)
“The Ken Burns Effect”, a document of the Stars Like Fleas’s growth over the past year, is an iconoclastic but more immediate, organic and lush album than its predecessor (“Sun Lights Down On The Fence”, an album that received reams of critical praise and which Pitchfork gave an 8.2 and called ’intimate and utterly beautiful’).
When Fleas-fan, the composer Nico Muhly (arranger to Björk, Grizzly Bear, and Antony & The Jonsons) helped pass along early recordings drafts from The Ken Burns Effect to Björk producer/collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson, the band were invited to Iceland to complete and mix in the fall of 2006.