Appearing on the horizon at the dawn of the aughts, Montreal's The Stills have grown from a sharp, post-punk inspired four-piece to savvy, stylish songwriters counted among Canada's best established indie rock outfits.
The Stills' earliest incarnation - as vocalist Tim Fletcher, drummer Dave Hamelin, guitarist Greg Paquet and bassist Oliver Crowe - formed in 2001 and was unveiled after a two-month stint in NYC landed them on Vice Records in 2003.
The band's early sound, a fuzzy, stylized nod to the likes of Echo and The Bunnymen, Ride and Joy Division, manifested itself wholly on that year's debut LP Logic Will Break Your Heart and launched tours with Interpol, The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs that quickly cemented the band's profile amidst the burgeoning Montreal scene and beyond.
Tours of the U.K. helped The Stills score three chart-topping singles from their debut and seven years later Logic would appear on countless critics' aughts-end lists for its place in shaping the sounds that emerged in the latter half of the decade.
In 2004, as the band prepped its follow up to Logic, Hamelin, always a principal creative force, stepped out from behind the drums to assume co-frontman duties with Fletcher, while Liam O'Neil was added on keyboards to fill out the touring lineup.
Paquet left the band in late ‘04 and the band released its sophomore effort, Without Feathers, in 2006 as a major departure, a surprising and bold exploration of more roots-driven rock territory spurred on by the widespread popularity of their debut.
In 2007 the band set out on another career-altering tour, this time with Broken Social Scene, in the process forming a powerful bond with the sprawling Canadian collective and setting the stage for a 2008 move from Vice to Arts & Crafts.
Later that year, with the new imprint behind them, The Stills released their third record, Oceans Will Rise, at once calling back to longtime fans and drawing in legions of new appreciators with its most sonically robust and anthemic effort to date.
In the winter of 2010, the band's wildly varied career was the subject of yet another surprise twist thanks to an unlikely reunion with founding member Paquet in Montreal.
Jam sessions followed and a new bond grew organically. The result is an expanded version of the original lineup with O'Neil staying on keys, Paquet once again picking up the guitar and Hamelin moving back behind the kit as the group lays the foundation for its fourth record and returns to touring with Kings Of Leon and Built To Spill.The Stills began the last decade as four fresh-faced new wavers with a point to prove and begin this one as a reassembled quintet flush with the experience and inspiration needed to make its most poignant music yet.