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The best kept secret in music


"EP Review"

'He Looked One Way, She Looked The Other'

Hot Press 03 Mar 2006 (

Beautifully-titled, Irish duo Stellarband's debut is as melancholic and wistful as its title might suggest.

First coming to prominence after being asked to support Cake in Vicar Street last year, the California link is one which rears its head time and again. Brian Durnin's warm and soft vocal will doubtless draw comparisons to The Thrills' Conor Deasy, however the band are far closer to Mercury Rev or Woodstar.

This is particularly the case through the lush and tender soundscapes Steve Lynch sketches on the staggered 'Break It' and the ultra harmonic 'Stop The Music'. A fine debut.

Steve Cummins - HOT PRESS

"Sugar Club Live Review"

It wasn't long before Stellarband were ready to play to an almost full venue. The chimed keyboards and pleasing melody of 'Sweetness' and 'Stop The Music' warm the crowd right up. It would be the lazy thing to do to keep comparing them to The Thrills but the truth is they have their own recognisable sound. Yes, the lead singer does sound a lot like Conor Deasy and many of their melodies share that same windswept summer vibe, but there the comparisons with The Thrills ends. For songs like the delectable 'Good Stuff' and the musing 'Crop Circles' carry that Stellaband stamp. Feet can be heard tapping and smiles can be seen stretching as Stellarband produce song after song of love-letter honesty and finely-tweaked rhythm.

Neil Young or Brian Wilson would love to claim the authority of 'Go Now', a song with a pleasing momentum that is fine-tuned with a volcanic charm. While the band work well together (including cameo roles of Maeve O'Reilly on violin and Conor O'Donovan on drums), it is the songs that stand out. Whether it be the reggae/pop fusion of 'Wide Awake', the playful 'Player Of The Year' or a song about a man with his limbs on the outside, each song seems to have this wondrous appeal with a velvety magic meandering its way through. The warm and fuzzy imagery of 'Polar Bear' sends a positive vibe throughout the venue.

While Neosupervital threatened to transform the evening into some kind of electro-funk extravaganza, Stellarband proved just why people have whispering about them. With a solid recording behind them they well could be the next big Irish export. -


2005: He Looked One Way, She Looked the Other EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


Stellarband is based around the writing partnership of Brian Durnin and Steve Lynch.

They started singing songs together at the tender age of twelve under the immensely stupid name “Ribcage Milk”. During this time they penned timeless classics about the highs and lows of shifting girls and going to the dentist to get train-tracks.

After a couple of years playing in various bands, Brian and Steve realised that much more fun was had when they were younger and when it was just the two of them. They came up with the name Stellarband.

The concentration was always on song writing and finding the perfect marriage between simplicity and melody. There were many demos that followed, Steve handling Pro Tools duties, culminating in a collection of several songs. This was whittled down to a three-track sampler, which in the summer of 2003 was sent out to record critics. Much to the band's delight, many praised the tracks classy song writing and nifty arrangements, but as it is with these things, for reasons unknown no deals were offered, no limosines promised.

Stellarband carried on regardless and began gigging with the aid of Jimmy Wynne on guitar, backing vocals and boyish good looks. Much fun was had at the Ruby Sessions, Whelans and the Sugar Club, and much drinking was done when Tom Dunne of TodayFm began including crowd favourite “Good Stuff” in his Pet Sounds show.

The recording and writing continued unabated, arrangments becoming grander as the boys became wiser and beardier. The beginning of 2005 started with a bang as Californian superstars Cake asked Stellarband to support them at Vicar St., a night which won the group a lot of new fans. After a great response Stellarband decided it was time to release something and see what would come of it all...