Stellastarr formed at an art school in Manhattan in 2000. Following a succession of club shows, the band began to gain a reputation for moody, mopey and yet highly energetic pop music. With a sound that harkens back to the glory days of early alternative music (think the Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain) and a slightly Pixies-esque tendency to shriek, the band started making waves in a town already filled with wave-makers. Stellastarr's persistence and strong live performances saw them rise to the top of the haircut brigade. In 2003, they cut their first major label deal and released a self-titled debut album.