Wed, May 2, 2007 at 10:27 AM
Trembling Blue Stars are a London-based twee pop band that currently includes members Robert Wratten and Beth Arzy (who is also in Aberdeen). Begun as a side project, Trembling Blue Stars became Wratten’s main band when Northern Picture Library broke up. Wratten took the name of his band from The Story of O by Pauline Réage. The Stars are characterized by slow songs with jangly guitars and introspective, painful lyrics.
Many of their lyrics deal with Wratten trying to come to grips with his relationship and subsequent breakup with Annemari Davies who was in The Field Mice and Northern Picture Library with him. Their first album, Her Handwriting, was released in 1996 to critical acclaim and had a small release on Shinkansen Records. The album was melancholic and moody as Wratten’s lyrics went through the sad and happy moments of his relationship with Annemari. There was never meant to be a real band, just one album as mostly a solo project with some help from Annemari, but after the success of Her Handwriting_, Wrattan put a band together and went touring and began work on a second album. In-fighting led to multiple line up changes, and original member Gemma Townley was replaced by Ian CattCatt. In 2003, all members were let go by Wratten except for Arzy; the two put out The Seven Autumn Flowers two years later.
_Lips That Taste of Tears, the Stars’ second album, was released in April of 1997. The album received acclaim again, but was never supported through touring as Annemari had a case of stage fright and wouldn’t tour.
Broken By Whispers, their third album released in 2000 saw them getting more press and radio play. “Dark Eyes”, the second single, was voted Single of the Week on Mark Radcliffe’s show on BBC 1. The mood was still melancholic, but this album saw the band experimenting with more bass and synth sounds. It was this album that was picked up by Seattle’s Sub Pop Records and gave the band their first release in North America. They also were able to record a live session on the John Peel show
In 2001, they released Alive To Every Smile, which still featured Annemari on vocals, along with band member Beth Arzy-Dean, who at the time was also a member of Aberdeen. The album was widely acclaimed and adds more synth and beats to Wrattan’s painful and frank lyrics, including one of their most famous songs The Ghost of an Unkissed Kiss, which combined a dance-pop sensibility with more traditional twee aspects.
The band collected some singles for a compilation called A Certain Evening Light in 2003.
In 2005, their fifth album The Seven Autumn Flowers was released on Bar None Records in both the US and UK after they left their former home of Shinkansen Records. Ian Catt again produced this album.