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Stars Hollow. Yes, you read the correctly. This isn’t the fictional town based in Connecticut that is featured on the hit television series Gilmore Girls, either. Stars Hollow is an American emo band from Ames, Iowa. SH consists of 3 band members: Tyler Stodghill, Wyatt Timberlake, and Jesse Ledbetter. As you dive into their music, you will feel their powerful & emotional lyrics deep in your chest, just seconds into the album. Do you think that you struggled holding the tears back while listening to Midwest Pen Pals back in the early 2000’s? You’ll have a blast with this band, then. In 2016, they released their 5 track EP, “I’m really not that upset about it,” super emo, right? Let’s jump into it.
The first thing you notice about this EP is the outside artwork designed by Alexis Politz. The album cover portrays a person sitting pretty high up on a tree limb of a fairly large size tree. Politz uses light hues of blues and greens to portray/express the melancholic mood of the person sitting. The cover itself has a very “DIY” feel to it, but at the same time everything is very precise and extremely detailed, even the words “Stars Hollow” and “I’m really not that upset about it.”
The moment you turn this EP on, instant nostalgia will smack you in the face. The first track titled “Embarrassed” begins with a super emo riff that sounds as if it could’ve came off of an early Midwest Pen Pals demo tape, or even an Old Gray record. Shortly after this riff kicks you in the teeth, the drums roll and you realize that it is about to get loud, and then BOOM. This album doesn’t take long to prove that it’s well worth a listen, or 50.
As mentioned above, this EP includes 5 tracks: “Embarrassed,” “Mattering,” “Cicada,” “Drinking Buddies,” and “Cloud Envy.” Each of these tracks add to the overall entirety of this EP, each providing certain melodic riffs and powerful vocals. From the lyrics “I always bite off more than I can chew, leaving me to choke in front of you” and “Am I just here for the intake of cheap beer and college shame,” this 14 minute EP leaves you hitting replay before you even have time to realize that it is over.
The EP itself was recorded at Establishment in Des Moines, Iowa, and was mixed & mastered by Andrew Ferren. The quality of this EP is unparalleled. I would compare the sound to that of Midwest Pen Pals, Merchant Ships, and Old Gray. Names like these give this album pretty high expectations, right? Check it out for yourself; you’ll soon agree.
Overall, this album is an EXCELLENT find. I highly encourage downloading it, and supporting this hardworking, unique, and talented band. I would give Stars Hollow “I’m really not that upset about it” a solid 9.5/10, and the up and coming group themselves a solid 10/10. I can see this band doing magnificent things and being a huge part of an emo revival. Catch this band on their upcoming summer tour, stay connected with them via social media, and jam this album as loud as you can. Maybe after years of searching, we have found it - the band that will fill the void that Midwest Pen Pals and Merchant Ships left in all of our little emo hearts.