Starling Electric released the album Clouded Staircase via veteran independent label Bar/None August 19, 2008. It was originally available locally (mostly from the trunks of band members' cars) and drew considerable acclaim in their HOMEBASE of Ann Arbor, Michigan, which helped the band quickly build a loyal intergalactic fan base.
Recorded entirely in bedrooms, basements, closets and bathrooms, ...Clouded Staircase's 18 original tracks represent a call to arms for anyone still interested in melodies, harmonies, and the power of a good pop song. Starling Electric soon caught the attention of Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices, who invited them to open for him on an east coast tour. Soon after, the group was championed by Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (The Posies/Big Star) on BBC-6 Radio and their respective websites.
Starling Electric was originally the solo project of singer/songwriter Caleb Dillon; a decade's worth of lineup changes has yielded the dynamic live five-piece of today: Caleb on lead vocals; John Fossum on drums; Christian Blackmore Anderson on bass; Ben Collins on guitar; and Aaron Diehl on guitar and keyboards. Everybody sings. There is much rejoicing.
The group is a melting pot of '60s and '70s influences - the melodic harmonies of the Beatles, Beach Boys, Zombies, and Byrds; the prog and art-rock exploration of Yes, 10cc, Genesis, and Elton John; the baroque craftsmanship of the Left Banke and Love; and the pomposity and swagger of The Who, Queen, and ELO. They've shared bills with Robert Pollard, Evan Dando (The Lemonheads), Saturday Looks Good To Me, The Sights, The Hidden Cameras, Great Lakes Myth Society, The Satin Peaches, and many others. They’ve headlined every major city in their home state of Michigan and toured throughout the east coast.
Starling Electric has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit Free Press, and in magazines such as the Detroit Metro Times, Real Detroit Weekly, Lansing City Pulse, and AnnArbor.com. The group has received an impressive amount of airplay on college radio throughout the midwest as well as BBC radio in the UK. SE were voted "Best Rock Artist" by the readers of the Ann Arbor Current and their song "Camp-Fire" was showcased in an episode of the UPN television series, "Veronica Mars". In 2009, the Clouded Staircase track and live staple "Black Ghost/Black Girl" was featured in the soundtrack to the critically-acclaimed film Crossing Over; two years later, they contributed to the soundtrack of writer/director Jake Torem's film Letting Go, winner of Best Romantic Comedy at the Huston Film Festival. "Camp-Fire" was chosen as the theme tune for the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Poised for greatness, again(!), Starling Electric has risen from the grave to reclaim their title as The Band You Love To Hate To Love!