The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Do You Know…Starsailor?

Starsailor may have been one of the most talked-about bands at the start of 2002. It has only taken a few months to prove to America that it could live up to all of the hype.

The quartet from Britain has already enjoyed two Top 20 hits and headlined its first British tour after recording a now platinum album, “Love is Here.” Its quick success has surprised many people in the music industry as well as the band. Lead singer, 20-year-old James Walsh, says the band hoped for success, but never holds out too much confidence.

Walsh started his musical voyage at the age of 12, when he began playing the piano. At age 14, he began to write songs as an emotional outlet. It wasn’t until he entered college, that his work took shape. That was when he met his future band mates who helped him to focus his feelings into real songs.

Many have contributed part of their success to the recent breakthrough of other imports from Britain. Acts such as Coldplay and Travis have been credited with opening the minds of the American listener to a new type of music. However, it seems that since its debut, Starsailor has been able to stand on its own.

Upon listening to the album “Love is Here,” it is obvious that its musical style is similar to those aforementioned acts. The strong vocals, even stronger melodies and profound lyrics make the comparisons inevitable. Still, Starsailor finds a way to make its music personal for its audience.

Its first single, “Good Souls,” offered comfort to many after Sept.11. As an anthem of appreciation for what people have, many related the song to the actions of all of the heroes after the attacks. Walsh wrote the chorus, “Thank goodness for the good souls that make life better… If it wasn’t for the good souls, life would not matter,” three years ago. He was touched to hear that people found healing in his lyrics.

Song after song, the band remains honest and direct. Its upcoming second single, “Poor Misguided Fool,” runs like a river of sorrow. The song “Alcoholic,” which is the band’s biggest hit in the U.K., is undoubtedly the most emotionally charged song on the album, singing of a painful family history. Its music is powerful, without being pretentious. “Love is Here” seems to be the album that a lot of people have been waiting for. It’s an album they can call their own, almost like a journal of their own life.

Named after an LP by the astounding Tim Buckley, Starsailor is James Stelfox (bass), Ben Byrne (drums), Barry Westhead (keyboards) and James Walsh (vocals). Undeniably influenced by the Buckley’s, the band lists U2 and Neil Young as idols as well.

To learn more about Starsailor and its music, or to find out when it will be in town, surf over to it’s website at

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