Ceiling Stars
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Ceiling Stars

Band Folk Rock


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"Chicago Independent Radio Project"

Ceiling Stars is a new Chicago band that could fit into that odd term New Weird America. Or folk, if you want. Bluntly put, they make deep, relaxing, honest music played by great musicians… My choice cuts are Terrible Twos and Poisoned Again but after seeing an explosive performance by them at the Darkroom I put them in third place here because I don’t think this album fully captures their amazing grace. - DJ Lamplight

"Chicago Reader Sharp Darts"

Professional-quality recording software, samplers, and emulators are cheap enough now that singer-songwriters can realize their dreams of Brian Wilson-style instrumental extravagance without leaving their bedrooms. But Joe Phillips, the man behind Ceiling Stars, prefers a restrained aesthetic that contrasts starkly with the baroque confections of Elephant 6 worshippers like Bryan Scary. On this disc of home recordings, the four musicians he plays with live—who include members of Tenki—only occasionally chip in, and even then they tend to tread lightly around his skeletal, folksy guitar parts and plainspoken vocals. A couple tunes rock out gently, but overall the album creates a peaceful sonic space that makes me imagine a Zen pebble garden laid out in front of Townes Van Zandt’s old trailer. - Miles Raymer

"KEXP 90.3 Seattle"

Ceiling Stars brings together members of acclaimed local band “Tenki� Garen Gaston and Sean Burke with singer guitar player Joe Phillips, Samantha Axton and awesome lap steel player “JK� to create a delightfully dreamy and satisfyingly twangy pastiche of alt country and shoe-gazey lo-fi pop lullabies… No one would have guessed that last week at darkroom was one of the bands first shows in front of a paying crowd and they seemed comfortable and confident delivering their set - show review


CEILING STARS / All The Fallen Parts LP (2009)
CEILING STARS / X-Wing Miracle (2008 single)
CEILING STARS / Debut (2007/2008)



Hailing from Oklahoma, Joe Phillips landed in Chicago and recorded a slew of melancholy folk tunes in his bedroom exploring the darker, sometimes psychedelic side of the midwest state of mind. He joined up with fellow Oklahoman and childhood friend Gaston plus JK and Burke (of Tenki) to flesh out these songs for a live setting. The group quickly began writing and recording new material, often shifting vocal duties to Gaston and JK. Van Allen (of Siderunners) later joined, and the band has been accompanied onstage by strings, banjo and auxiliary percussion.

Their first live performance was reported by KEXP Seattle as "a delightfully dreamy and satisfyingly twangy pastiche of alt country and shoe-gazey lo-fi pop lullabies…" Since then their shows have expanded with lush four part harmonies and dynamic tempo and mood changes.

The new album All The Fallen Parts also features guest vocals by Tania Bowers (of Via Tania) on the ghostly "Chambered Heart". The sound of Ceiling Stars today is still rooted in folk but takes cues from country, Brazilian rhythms, and shoe-gaze wall of sound guitars framed by lush psychedelic vocal harmonies.