Stellastarr (styled as stellastarr*) is an American indie rock band based in New York City. It is composed of Shawn Christensen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Amanda Tannen (bass, vocals), Arthur Kremer (drums, percussion, keyboards), and Michael Jurin (lead guitar, vocals).
The band formed in March 2000 from the ashes of a previous musical effort, the band Ghistor, formed while studying art and design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. A few years later, after a chance meeting with Jurin, who had recently relocated to Brooklyn and had left his former band Charlotte's Funeral behind in his hometown of Philadelphia, the former classmates reunited, this time with Christensen on vocals. The band was named after an old purple hearse parked in Poughkeepsie, where Christensen grew up.
Stellastarr played their first gig at Luna Lounge, formerly on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in July 2000, and released a limited series of independent/homemade EP CDs shortly thereafter. They have toured with Jane's Addiction, The Raveonettes, Placebo, The Killers, and Editors. Stellastarr have played live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Europe.
Their third album, Civilized, was released in July 2009 on their own label, Bloated Wife. The album recovers the speed of the first and the essence of the second. "Graffiti Eyes" and "Numbers" are the singles, the last one had a B-side that included "Winter Song."
Members of the band have collaborated with Project Runway winner Christian Siriano and his boyfriend, musician Brad Walsh on music for Siriano's runway shows at fashion week. Michael Jurin played guitar on Walsh's song "Pop" which was the runway music in 2009, and Amanda Tannen contributed vocals to the song "I Got What U Need" on Walsh's 2009 album. The band are currently on an indefinite hiatus. Arthur is currently involved in a project entitled Dear Comrade, who released their first LP in 2011.
All members of the band have alternate careers. Frontman Shawn Christensen is an Academy Award winning filmmaker having won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for his 2012 short Curfew at the 85th Academy Awards. Christensen is also a professional painter. His award-winning art has been displayed at various New York exhibits and published in journals like Metropolis and The Village Voice. He also painted the portraits inside the album artwork for the group's eponymous debut album.
Bassist Amanda Tannen is a graphic designer and created the album art for their third album, Civilized. Guitarist Michael Jurin is a member of the Philadelphia based band The Midnight Sounds, creates his own music under the name Piano Belly and has scored various short independent movies. Drummer Arthur Kremer is a graphic designer, and a founding member of a Brooklyn band called Dear Comrade, and acted in The Lost Battalion.
- Stellastarr (September 23, 2003)
- Harmonies for the Haunted (September 13, 2005 US; March 6, 2006 UK)
- Civilized (July 7, 2009)
- Somewhere Across Forever (May 19, 2002 UK; December 2002 US)
- "Jenny" (September 15, 2003)
- "My Coco" (August 3, 2004)
- "Sweet Troubled Soul" (September 2005 US; February 27, 2006 UK)
- "Graffiti Eyes" (April 20, 2009 US)
- "Numbers" (December 1, 2009 US)