Indie-rock duo Sleigh Bells have filed a lawsuit against Demi Lovato, alleging that the pop singer’s 2015 track “Stars” lifts musical elements from their 2010 track “Infinity Guitars.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, in the suit filed Monday via California federal court, Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller specify “signal decay and other sonic signatures” that characterize “virtually identical content” and “transcend the realm of coincidence.”
“A comparison of the two songs reveals that, at the very least, the combination of the hand claps and bass drum, structured as 3 quarter beats and a rest, with the bass drum providing a counter-rhythm to the hand claps, is at least substantially similar in both works,” the lawsuit reads. “This infringing material repeats throughout the Defendants’ song.”
The complaint names Lovato, UMG Recordings and producers Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub as defendants. Representatives for Lovato and Sleigh Bells declined to comment on the filing, though Falk and Yacoub told Rolling Stone last year, at the time of the initial accusation, “We did not use any samples in Demi Lovato’s song ‘Stars.’ Demi was also not involved with the production. She only wrote top line.”
Lovato’s “Stars” appeared as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of her Confident LP. “Infinity Guitars” – which Rolling Stone ranked the 21st-best song of 2010 – was featured on Sleigh Bells’ (Alexis Krauss, Derek Miller) acclaimed debut album, Treats.
In November, following the release of “Stars,” Sleigh Bells tweeted at Lovato about the similarities, also mentioning their song “Riot Rhythm.”
“Flattered you guys sampled ‘Infinity Guitars’ and ‘Riot Rhythm’ for ‘Stars’ but we were not contacted,” they wrote. “Gotta clear those.”
“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,” Sleigh Bells’ rep told Rolling Stone last year.
Sleigh Bells released their most recent album, Bitter Rivals, in 2013.