Your ex lover

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The artists were young and anxious, obsessed with endings in order to get to those new beginnings ; their agitation and vulnerability manifesting in a real and varied range of emotions, over sonic landscapes that thrummed urgently, expansively, across myriad seasons. These musicians — an avant-art assembly of innovators, activists and DIY enthusiasts — were part of a scene mostly out of Montreal and shared a melodic language; a pop spectrum that ran from chamber to twee and back again. They rejected the generation's lengthy hangover of '90s-era irony and abject indifference, in favour of narrative complexity and embracing all the feelings.

What positioned Your ex lover so uniquely in is still true to this day: the band's brilliant decision to have two lead singers Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan and make the first track on their second album a devastating call-and-answer duet that ripped open the hearts of a whole new crop of music fans and critics, including CBC Music's own Andrea Warner and Melody Lau. Ahead of Stars' year anniversary performance of Set Yourself on Fire at the CBC Music Festival, Warner and Lau Your ex lover into "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead," the memorable anthem from their critically acclaimed album that launched the band to a new level of stardom thanks to ificant placements on notable television shows.

The conversation below also includes excerpts from exclusive interviews with Set Yourself on Fire 's co-producer, Tom McFall, and former Stars touring member, and Young Galaxy co-founder, Steve Ramsay. Melody: Andrea! Can you believe it's already been 15 years since "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" came out?

It's strange to think about it because it's a song that both reflects a hyper-specific time and place — a burgeoning Montreal music scene that was on the cusp of breaking through to a worldwide audience — but at the same time, it's such a timeless song.

Andrea: I adore this song so much, and you're right about its timelessness. As soon as that deep, booming voice shakes the speaker with "Set yourself on fire! Melody: It's Your ex lover the very definition of a track that pulls on the heartstrings of a listener — a melody that so expertly plays to our emotions, which is, in many ways, the greatest strength of Stars.

I personally came to "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" a few years late, but it entered my life around the time I experienced my first break-up and illuminated a brand new spectrum of feelings for me. It allowed me to understand the complexities of moving on and how distance can heal a lot, Your ex lover perhaps not everything. I'm curious: what's the first thing you think about when you hear this song?

Andrea: I think about the lyricism of this song all the time. I think that's what hooked me before anything else even: the dialogue, the push and pull, the give and take, the desire to hurt someone before they can hurt you. It's such a typically male bravado response, burying one's vulnerability under this avalanche of indifference, not realizing you're crushing yourself, too. Melody: It's interesting that you note the indifference because Tom McFall, the producer of "Your Ex-Lover is Dead," told me he loves the "emotional nonchalance" of this song, but that's just one of many layers here.

Like you said, there's a crushing sadness underneath what he is saying. There's awkwardness in the happenstance of running into a former lover. There's a feeling of loss, of losing that familiarity with someone you once knew Your ex lover. And, ultimately, acceptance in knowing "there's nothing to save. Many songs struggle to just get one sentiment right, yet "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" encapsulates a lot more than that and nails it in an incredibly satisfying way.

Andrea: It's a very cinematic song, too, and I remember being so excited when it started to show up on TV and in the movies. Like when they were on The O. Melody: The O. At the time, the show was a huge taste-maker for fashion and music. It was the show that practically made Death Cab for Cutie a household name. Thank you, Seth Cohen. I still have a crush on you. Andrea: Can we also talk about the brutal edits the producers or choreographers did to the song to make it work for So You Think You Can Dance in season 6?

Your ex lover

I understand they had to edit it for the length of the performance, but it sounds very jarring and the lyrics don't line up. Alas, television can distort songs like that. At least choreographer Travis Wall applies the concept of the song to the dance Your ex lover pretty well. Chopped-up song aside, it is a nice visual representation of the song. Wall's work is often very emotionally driven, and a song like this perfectly suits his style. Andrea: It is Your ex lover beautiful dance, you're right. I'm just mad at the edits. Melody: So, this song definitely found a fit in TV and film, but I also want to talk about how it fit into the Canadian music scene at large.

While the inclination might be to look at Stars' closest friends in Broken Social Scene and Metric, I talked to Young Galaxy's Steve Ramsay about it — he got his start touring with Stars during their Set Yourself on Fire days — and he makes a really good case for Arcade Fire's Funeral being its most direct kinship. Your ex lover describes the two as "second cousins" because they were both born from the collaborative nature of the Montreal community. So Stars was definitely an integral part of the Montreal scene that later blew up in when Arcade Fire ended up on the cover of Time Magazine.

But there's still something about Your ex lover Ex-Lover is Dead" that strikes me as this singular piece that stood out from the rest. Andrea: I feel like it's the story in the song, and how many layers there are. It's funny and it's sad and it's beautifully poetic, but also one really valid reading of this whole song is about Amy's character having left a very bad situation.

She's grown beyond the circumstances of this relationship, and she's forced to engage again with Torquil's character's toxic masculinity and his inability to access his emotions. These are complicated dynamics that we're just barely talking about openly now inand Stars put it in a song in and made it seem like the greatest, saddest love story ever told, when in fact it was probably about ending a very bad relationship, the kind that you learn to identify as abusive only after you've done the hard work of leaving.

Melody: It's got the grandeur of a story that can only be told in retrospect. But also, it has a wonderful sense of tragic humour that lies in a setting like this. I can't imagine being as eloquent and succinct in a moment like that, but Amy's character is what I strive to be. Andrea: There are so many lines that I hear differently now the way I heard them back then, when I thought there was something tragic and stoic about suffering in the name of "love.

She will send him the news "from a house down the road, from real love. Melody: I think former touring member Ramsay summed up the effectiveness of the song in a really great way. He told me: "It's a very bittersweet moment that's hard to articulate in a way that doesn't feel like you've got to say bigger things; said in a small way, it comes across in a very big way.

Andrea: Totally agree. In part, it's the swell of the violin and the accordion, but it's also the way Amy and Torquil's voices meld, like two people reaching for each other's hands in the dark, fingers twining together.

Your ex lover

And there's something so heartbreakingly real in the repair of the final verse, both musically and lyrically. Amy's ability to identify her desire for closure as "brave" is ificant, as is her decision to retroactively afford herself some agency in their relationship. Of course she is. Melody: McFall Your ex lover that one of the last parts added to "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" were the strings and brass instruments and he remembered that was when "the whole thing suddenly came massively to life.

Your ex lover

Andrea: Oh, I'm so glad they made that decision. Particularly for the song's final 30 seconds. After the break when the music falls out, and the space they make for the repetition of "I'm not sorry there's nothing to save" — it's a relief to have that instrumentation whirl in and whisk us away.

We can absorb the sting of everything that just went down, or we can revel in the triumph of leaving, or we can reel from this epic and final goodbye. Some days it's a combination of all three things at once, isn't it? Melody: It truly is the beauty of this song, and the beauty of hindsight.

I can look back at "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" and laugh or cry, feel angry or uplifted. It's a song that means different things for different people, and can continue to unravel new layers over time. Sure, we can argue whether or not this is Stars' best song ever I can nominate many others for that titlebut I think we can both agree that the keys to Stars' success can all be found on this one perfect track.

Torquil once said that this song no longer belongs to them. So I feel like we ultimately want to just thank the band Your ex lover this gift. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster. For full coverage of the event, head over to cbcmusic. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted. By submitting a comment, Your ex lover accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses.

Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Your ex lover on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time. the conversation Create. Already have an ? Music 'Your Ex-Lover is Dead' turns exploring the brilliance behind Stars' biggest hit The song is a timeless ode to broken hearts. Social Sharing.

Your ex lover

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Your Ex-Lover Is Dead