Gold Star is the solo Americana project of L.A.-based Marlon Rabenreither, who also performs in the punk band CG Roxanne & the Nightmares. He broke out in 2015 with his debut album Dark Days.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Rabenreither attended Goldsmiths art college in London before moving to New York, where he tried unsuccessfully to make it for several years. Deciding a complete change of scene was in order, he moved to L.A., where he formed the Sister Ruby Band, which crossed shoegaze and West Coast psychedelia; they released one album, 2011's In Cold Blood. An early fan was Lucinda Williams, who asked Rabenreither to open for her solo. Using the same members from the Sister Ruby Band, he formed Gold Star, which had a more acoustic, old-timey vibe influenced by Leonard Cohen, John Lennon, Neil Young, and, notably, Bob Dylan, to whom Rabenreither bore more than a passing vocal resemblance. Following a self-released, eponymous 2012 EP, Gold Star's first full-length album, Dark Days, appeared in 2015. It was recorded by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club producer Nic Jodoin using vintage analog gear, as was the 2017 follow-up, Big Blue, released on Autumn Tone Records and named for Rabenreither's blue wooden house in East Hollywood. His third album, Uppers and Downers, arrived in 2018 and saw him beginning to incorporate roots rock and country-rock elements into the Gold Star sound. ~ John D. Buchanan