TREMBLING BLUE STARS
Named in honor of a passage from Pauline Reage's infamous novel The Story of O, the melancholy Trembling Blue Stars heralded the return of singer/songwriter Robert Wratten, best known as the frontman of the British indie pop band the Field Mice.
Ostensibly a solo project with significant input from producer Ian Catt, Trembling Blue Stars originally emerged in the wake of the dissolution of Northern Picture Library, the project Wratten mounted after the demise of the Field Mice with then-girlfriend Annemari Davies; 1996's Shinkansen label debut Her Handwriting explored the couple's breakup in heartbreaking lyrical detail, couching its elegiac songs in airy, evocative guitar soundscapes. As of 1998's Lips That Taste of Tears, some measure of reconciliation had apparently been reached, as Davies' ethereal vocal presence again surfaced. 2000's Broken by Whispers was issued in the U.S. on Sub Pop. That same year the band added Keris Howard (formerly of Brighter) on bass, Beth Arzy (formerly of Aberdeen) on backing vocals, and Jonathan Akerman on drums, and began playing live shows in the U.K. before journeying to the U.S. for the first time. With the help of another Sarah Records vet, Harvey Williams of Another Sunny Day, this same core group recorded 2001's Alive to Every Smile. Since then the band's lineup remained stable, but they left their longtime label, Shinkansen, and moved to Spanish indie Elefant before the release of 2004's The Seven Autumn Flowers. Bar/None released the album in the U.S., and the band returned for a few dates to promote the album. After the release of the Bathed in Blue EP in early 2005, the group recorded and released their sixth album, 2007's The Last Holy Writer. Wratten announced shortly before the release of their next album 2010's Fast Trains and Telegraph Wires, that it would be the group's last. ~ Jason Ankeny & Tim Sendra, Rovi