The indie duo Sleigh Bells have taken their sampling allegations against Demi Lovato to court.
In a complaint filed Monday in California federal court and obtained by EW, Sleigh Bells members Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss claim that Lovato’s song “Stars,” released last year, “includes compositional elements” taken without permission from their original track “Infinity Guitars,” which appeared on the 2010 album Treats.
Miller and Krauss first accused Lovato of infringement via social media last November, shortly after “Stars” appeared as a bonus track on her album Confident. At the time, Lovato’s production team denied using any samples in the song.
Krauss and Miller’s complaint names Lovato, producers Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub, and UMG Recordings as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, “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. This infringing material repeats throughout the Defendants’ song.”
The suit also alleges that the “sonic qualities of portions of ‘Infinity Guitars’ and ‘Stars’ are at least substantially similar,” including the “signal decay and other sonic signatures.” Taken together, the similarities “transcend the realm of coincidence or shared generic material,” the suit says.
A representative for Sleigh Bells declined to comment on the lawsuit, and a representative for Lovato did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Listen to the two songs below.