The Star Department

The Star Department‘Art rock with a nice, romantic/melodic edge’ – The Guardian

The Star Department juxtapose atypical song structures and shifting time signatures with unashamedly pop-leaning melodies and orchestral ambience. Never self-indulgent yet never predictable, their debut album The Pea Green Boat – mixed by Tom McFall (Bloc Party, REM, Stars, Weezer) – charts a beguiling journey through gently psychedelic waters.


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The Pea Green Boat

July 2015

At its core, The Pea Green Boat is irrepressibly melodic and always inventive, never relying on predictable forms to deliver its charms. Each song is crafted around a playful, deftly composed structure, with a delicate yet potent mix of lo-fi guitars, horns, organ and off-kilter rhythm section. Given the album’s wonderful mix of indie pop and art-rock it comes as no surprise to learn that production credits for the album include David Brewis of Field Music, and Tom McFall (Bloc Party, REM, Stars, Weezer).

The first single from The Pea Green Boat, ‘This Ship Won’t Sail’, provides the perfect introduction to the album with its inventive take on expansive down-tempo indie pop. The song’s organ-driven twists and turns evoke the dark charm of Psychedelic Fur’s ‘Sister Europe’, Deerhunter’s more pop-leaning moments, and the chiming guitar work of seminal Flying Nun outfits. Never self-indulgent yet never predictable, this is hypnotic, emotive stuff. Second single ‘Stitches and Sleeves’ is bound together by a heartbreaking guitar line, a silvery waltz-time figure that sends shivers up the spine. Combined with shuffling drums, a muted yet ominous horn section, and Justin Commins’ vulnerable, almost defeated vocal, the song radiates melancholic pop magic.


The Star Department are multi-instrumentalists Justin Commins(Kill Krinkle Club) and Michael Orange (Feather Beds, Soft Bones), who formed in Dublin in 2006. Their debut EP Flickering Lights, mastered by Kramer (Low, Daniel Johnston, Galaxie 500), was released soon after, to much critical acclaim. After a hiatus, the duo began working on their debut album, The Pea Green Boat, and toured the USA and Canada during 2010 and 2011.

Album track ‘Antlers’ was mixed by David Brewis (Field Music), with the rest of the album mixed by Tom McFall (Bloc Party, REM, Stars, Weezer). The album also features the talents of Niall Jackson on bass and Gordon Wyper on trumpet. The Pea Green Boat is set for release in July 2015.



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The Star Departments music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.