Demi Lovato‘s “Stars,” a bonus track on deluxe editions of the singer’s latest LP Confident, has come under scrutiny after Sleigh Bells claimed it contained illegal samples of two tunes off the noise-pop duo’s 2010 debut, Treats. “Flattered you guys sampled ‘Infinity Guitars’ and ‘Riot Rhythm’ for ‘Stars’ but we were not contacted,” Sleigh Bells tweeted at Lovato on Monday. “Gotta clear those.”
The song’s producers tell Rolling Stone, though, that it wasn’t the case. “We did not use any samples in Demi Lovato’s song ‘Stars,'” Carl Falk and Rami said in a joint statement. “Demi was also not involved with the production. She only wrote top line.”
But Sleigh Bells have remained adamant in their assertion. “I can confirm that the band feels their music has been sampled without proper clearance and are seeking all available remedies with [Lovato’s record label] Island Records,” the group’s rep tells Rolling Stone.
Lovato herself declined a request for comment.
Sleigh Bells did not reply to Rolling Stone‘s request for which specific musical elements the group felt were sampled. Lovato’s tune features a hopeful chorus and a mix of buoyant keyboards and buzzy, atmospheric sections of generally traditional pop. Sleigh Bells’ “Infinity Guitars” contains a hand-clap rhythm that sounds similar to some of the textures in “Stars,” while “Riot Rhythm” features more echoey drum beats containing a similar reverberation to the Lovato tune.
Lovato, a former Disney star, put out Confident in mid-October, with the record debuting at Number Two. The singer will embark on a North American tour to support the record next summer along with another ex–Disney star attempting to break free from his former kid-like image: Nick Jonas.
Sleigh Bells have been largely inactive this year, having played only a couple of dates. The duo issued its most recent LP, Bitter Rivals, in 2013.