After the undeniable creative triumph of June’s High Charisma, The Extensions have continued their winning streak with a raft of post-LP singles. In September came the live show staple “Waiting on the Rapture.” October saw them contribute to a 90s compilation with their standout take on Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” And now, to signal the closing of the year, they give us “You’re a Star.”
Upon first listen, only one thing comes to mind: at this point, The Extensions are just showing off. In almost any other universe, “You’re a Star” would be a pillar track on an album full of A-grade material. But when asked if this song will see the light of day on a follow up LP, bandleader Brian Erickson played coy, simply saying “We have a lot of music coming,” before reminding people that his band had announced a double-LP before the Covid pandemic forced a change of plans.
The song itself, in-and-out of The Extensions’ live set for years, takes on a menacing final form. Entirely absent of a chorus, “You’re a Star” leans on the interplay between Lisa LoVell’s seesawing staccato piano and Will Blakey’s slinking bass to keep you hooked. Meanwhile, Pete Stern maintains plenty of open space for the drums as Becca Cristino sticks to minimal guitar before the whole song breaks apart with a chaotic climax and a cold, hard stop.
Squint your ears ever-so-slightly and this song could be mistaken for something off Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R album. But instead of Josh Homme’s sinister, debauched musings, Brian Erickson reflects on the concept of self-proclaimed successes, and faking it til you make it. He sings “Step out into the flashing bulbs / You’re a star / Or at least you say you are,” most likely to the reflection in the mirror or some type of screen. It’s that clever little turn of phrase that reaffirms Erickson as one of the finest lyricists in the whole game and makes “You’re a Star” yet another win in a year full of them for The Extensions.