Describing their sound as "cinematic rock," the stylistically ambitious Columbus, Ohio rock band Starset were formed by Dustin Bates, best known as lead singer of the group Downplay. Starset have constructed an elaborate mythos surrounding themselves (as detailed on their website and shared through their social media posts), in which they insist they were recruited by one Dr. Aston Wise of the Starset Society to spread awareness of scientific phenomena that have been ignored or hidden from public view, most notably transmissions believed to be of human origin that have been broadcast from the constellation Ophiuchus.However, Bates and his bandmates first came together and made their public debut in July 2013, when their first digital single, "Carnivore," a rock tune with electronic accents and dramatic string arrangements, was released online.
A second track, "My Demons," was released in August 2013, and the band made its live debut in Salem, Ohio on November 27, 2013. Their debut album, Transmissions, was released the following summer. Starset returned in 2017 with their second studio effort, Vessels, and in 2018 they released a deluxe version of the LP (Vessels 2.0) featuring reimagined, acoustic, and remixed versions of its songs. During this period, Bates also debuted his electronic side project, MNQN, after which Starset returned to work, releasing their third proper full-length, Divisions, in September 2019. The set debuted in the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 and included the dramatic electronic-metal singles "Manifest" and "Where the Skies End."