If Vincent Price and Andy Warhol threw a party together, Starlight Girls would be the appropriate band for the occasion.
The trip-back-in-time, Brooklyn-based band could easily be imagined playing their psychedelic, sinister and arty music just a few miles south at Warhol’s Factory on All Hallow’s Eve.
Modern rockers steeped in the sounds of the past, Starlight Girls are breaking on to the scene with their self-titled five-song EP. “Starlight Girls” is to be released online Jan. 1, followed by a limited edition 7-inch in February.
In 2011, Starlight Girls evolved from Christina B, the music project and namesake of the group’s lead singer, keyboardist and flautist. As Christina, guitarist Shaw, drummer and vocalist Karys and bassist Mark began to collaborate more, they adopted the Starlight Girls moniker. The name might sound familiar, coming from a group of orphan girls fostered by a cheesy 1980s rocker chick in the animated television series, “Jem.” Fortunately, the band Starlight Girls sound nothing like the music from the cartoon, bypassing the ’80s and going back to an earlier decade to draw their influence.
More than any other period, Starlight Girls evoke the 1960s. Obscure lyrics, ambrosial female duet harmonies and vibrant instrumentation coalesce for music transported from that excellent time of experimentation. Straying from the rules of convention, they combine instruments and styles that don’t typically belong together, like the flute and organ or bossa nova, cabaret and surf.
Christina B welcomes listeners into the Starlight Girls carnival with the catty “Gossip.” The lead single of the EP, it is accompanied online with a kaleidoscopic video that looks as if it was filmed in a madhouse. It is an excellent representation of who the Starlight Girls are – strange, colorful and unbound from the norm.
Starlight Girls may be vintage, but their music benefits from modern technology, which allows them to easily layer multiple instruments and pack the intensity of an orchestra into a four-person band.
The powerful wall of sound allows for the creation of the dark, hypnotic landscape on “Wallflower.” Combined with Christina B’s 1960s Grace Slick soul on top, the dramatic song leaves an enduring imprint.
The EP is short but will induce the curiosity of many, especially those who like music that throws listeners back into another era. The Starlight Girls will likely captivate people who are into retro acts like the Black Keys, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Best Coast.
Starlight Girls’ initial effort is genuine and earnest, but due to their locale and burgeoning status, they’re likely attracting the hipster crowd. While their lyrics may be mysterious and their music a departure from the usual stream of pop, Starlight Girls is not an esoteric group for people who have too many pairs of skinny jeans and chunky non-prescription eyeglasses. But if the hipsters show up to their shows and buy their music, at least they’re advancing a group that should be heard outside of their Brooklyn flat.
Starlight Girls are online at http://www.starlightgirls.net.