Har Mar Superstar, born Sean Tillmann, is one of those people whose undeniable talent has led him on a journey through genres and unabashed theatricality. How many people can do semi-nude handstands, then belt out a soul song with complete mastery? Bye Bye 17, his last album, was filled with songwriting craft and vocal chops. But all the musicians he has toured or collaborated with, bands like The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have known about his talents for a long time. Now his new album, Best Summer Ever, is about to be released. The idea was to imagine the greatest hits of Har Mar Superstar – but from 1950-1985. Forget that he wasn’t even born then. Julian Casablancas assisted with the concept and the production, and first song off the album “Youth Without Love” was a Casablancas- penned demo that the two of them loved. Har Mar also brought in musicians like Karen O and Shawn Everett.
Northern Transmissions caught up with Har Mar Superstar on the eve of a tour that starts at SXSW and goes through the spring to promote the new album. During the interview, he was gracious enough to share his five, favourite albums with us including Cyndi Lauper, Stevie Wonder, and “everything by Sam Cooke.”