Stars of the Lid is a drone / ambient project by Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride that started in the early 90s. They are both angels of the heavens, sent down to calm our spirits, soothe our dreams, and provide the theme song for the day our hearts beat their last, blood flow slows to a stop, and one by one every cell stops dividing. My brother sent me the link to Stars of the Lid’s MySpace page many years ago, and I was kind of confused with what exactly it was. Instead of selfies of random bands, the top 8 friends were simply names of philosophers, scientists, and other big-name thinkers. I almost missed the fact that music was playing at all, faintly hearing quiet waves of sound washing in an out of my computer, like the whirling glow of a distant lighthouse through the fog. I left the webpage open, and continued with reading whatever monotonous textbook I was struggling through at the time. Over the next 30 or so minutes, I felt an incredible peace and tranquility, as though every pulse and retraction of tone drew a small sample of adrenaline or cortisol from my system. With the crushing weight of a continent, yet the pillow-soft elegance of a nimbus cloud, Stars of the Lid can envelop and surge through your core like nobodies business. Must be what meditation feels like.
Stars of the Lid have created 7 amazing LPs and a host of other compilations / EPs over their 2 decades. My two favourites are their two double-album masterpieces, 2001’s “The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid” and 2007’s “Stars Of The Lid And Their Refinement Of The Decline”. In addition to this, both members are avid side-project musicians, with McBride recently composing the soundtrack for a documentary about bee colony collapse disorder called “Vanishing of the Bees”, and Wiltzie releasing an excellent album under the moniker “The Dead Texan” (try “A Chronicle of Early Failures, Pt. 2”: http://youtu.be/v0fQP4NNJb8) and another with composer Dustin O’Halloran as “A Winged Victoria for the Sullen” (love “Steep Hills For Vicodin Tears”: http://youtu.be/9Iaxe5K3Ljo). If Stars of the Lid proves to be a bit too mellow for all you go-getters out there, you might want to give some of these latter acts a try. Update: AWVFTS have released a new album “Atomos”, the soundtrack accompaniment for a project by contemporary choreographer Wayne McGregor via Random Dance (try “Atomos VIII”: https://soundcloud.com/erasedtapes/a-winged-victory-for-the-sullen-atomos-viii/s-dX0Zy).