Stars and The Elected

Stars and the sun shine brightly tonight at the Aladdin Theater where two of indie pop’s growing bands will be playing their second show of a nine-day tour. Stars, a Canadian born group that released their third album Set Yourself On Fire in spring of 2005, will be headlining the show, with The Elected kicking the night off.

After releasing their sophomore album, Sun, Sun, Sun, Jan. 24 of this year, The Elected, fronted by Rilo Kiley cohort Blake Sennett, started the tour in Los Angeles, then met up with Stars last night, where they played at the Showbox in Seattle.

Sennett said he’s looking forward to the tour with Stars, having listened to their new release and liked it.

“Stars will be fun,” he said, ” and we’ve got some friends we’re gonna see [in Portland].”

Sennett said that the idea for the tour came about when he was talking to Stars singer, keyboardist and songwriter, Torquil Campbell, while Stars was touring with Death Cab for Cutie.

“We thought a tour would be sweet,” he said.

Sun, Sun, Sun and Set Yourself on Fire are albums of growth for both bands, as they expand their style and become more adaptable to a wider music market. Sun, Sun, Sun remains melodically similar to The Elected’s first release, Me First, with west coast ballads like “Not Going Home,” but edges into an even more extensive country-blues blend with tracks like “Old Times.”

Sennett didn’t credit the changes between the records to anything specific, but more to trying different things and childhood influences.

“[Sun, Sun, Sun] is a little more traditional and influenced by music I grew up listening to,” he said, mentioning the Beach Boys and The Beatles as two influences. “When you make a record you try new things; I don’t want to ever make the same record twice.”

Sennett said The Elected will only be playing songs from their two albums this time around.

“There won’t be much time for covers,” he said, “since we’re the opening band.”

For those that feel they won’t hear enough this time around, it isn’t their only chance. Sennett said the band is planning on headlining their own tour, during the months of March and April, with tour dates around the country. He wasn’t sure yet who they would be playing with however.

That doesn’t mean it is a good idea to miss tonight’s show, with the Aladdin as a perfect environment for the ambient style of both bands. Fans will be sure to hear Stars keyboard masterpiece “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” as well as well known tracks from their first two albums Heart and Nightsongs.

The Elected plan on staying in Portland tomorrow night, as Sennett said they will probably be hanging out with Saddle-Creek signed Portland native M. Ward. They have to hurry down to San Francisco Friday, however, for the next show on the short tour.

Beyond that, Sennett and band member Mike Bloom aren’t worried about the future of the band.

“We’re growing and getting pretty pimped out,” said Bloom with self-proclaimed sarcasm. “There’s a bunch of variables since we’re all doing a lot of different things. We like to prioritize and right now it is this band.”

Sennett isn’t concerned either, keeping the basis of the band in mind,

“In the end it’s just me singing songs about my life,” he said. “Hopefully we got some different back drops.”

Whatever happens, this is a show you won’t want to miss. Tickets are still available for $14 and the music starts at 8 p.m.