The Starlings have captured the ears of fans both in the Northwest and beyond. The 2008 release of their sophomore album, "Marveling the While," which spent 17 weeks on the Roots Music Report Charts and debuted on the Euro-Americana charts at #8, follows the successful 2006 release of their debut "Songbook." Seattle-based, they've received accolades from notable sources as Maverick Magazine and Americana UK; spent several weeks on John Richards' (KEXP) "Top Ten Northwest Bands"; and shared performances with the likes of Todd Snider, The Avett Brothers, Eilen Jewell, The Everybodyfields, and numerous regional artists. Featured in the March 2007 issue of Maverick Magazine (UK), The Starlings are bringing their blend of country and folk music to an ever broader stage, garnering fans from all corners of the musical spectrum.
"Marveling the While" picks up where "Songbook" leaves off – bringing us further down an aural path of lush production, soulful and sparkly vocals, and featuring guest appearances from Mike Grigoni (Willy Mason, Peter Rowan), Lauryn Shapter, and Chad Hinman ("MTW"’s producer).With a title inspired by John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, "Marveling the While" explores themes of time and duality, opening with the powerful track, "Love and War", the bitter sweetness of life in "Silver Thread," a tribute to a gypsy mother in "Geraldine," and the spooky, panoramic montage of "Honey Creek." The Starlings raise the bar in this production, reaching a new pinnacle with their use of metaphor, harmonies, and dynamics. They will embark on a 6-month national tour in 2008 in support of "MTW."
Led by the magnetic harmonies and songwriting of Joy Mills and Tom Parker, the lyrics and vocals are all at once wistful and fierce, haunting and soothing. Their approach is contemporary and inventive, inspired by the classics of country and folk music. Guitar, banjo, and harmonica give front porch flavors, while Aimee Zoe Tubbs and Jack Quick provide the solid and stylish foundation on drums and bass, respectively, as well as backing vocals. Elemental themes create The Starlings' solid repertoire – from a pin-dropping ballad to a foot-stomping barnburner, their images linger – empty boxcars, twilight on the prairie, divining rods, river beds, the long drive home, and an underlying wonder at the mystery of it all.
"The spirits of Mother Maybelle Carter, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck are alive and well in 'Songbook,'...So rich are the harmonies, so honest is the songwriting, so organic is lead singer Joy Mills' timbre that you can practically feel the heat from the wood burning stove and smell the coffee brewing on top of it." - Des Moines City View
“This Seattle four-piece revolves around the gorgeous vocals of lead singer Joy Mills, who conveys the same clear, soaring emotion and heart-tugging talent of Ms. [Neko} Case...equally at home playing barnburners and ballads...favorites among Seattle’s twang community.”
– Portland Tribune
"The Starlings vocal harmonies, acoustic goodness and sweet blend of folk and country set the stage for the band's storied original songwriting and the compelling presence of vocalist Joy Mills."
“The Starlings clearly have a deep appreciation for the classics but are by no means a retro act. Simply a terrific one.” – Miles Of Music