Fourth album from Americanophile Brits Still Corners. Slow Air represents the band exploring the vastness of America, a vastness that finds itself on this album's songs. The instrumentation is intense and sparse, built from plucked guitars, minimal drums and synths, and of course Tessa Murray's haunting vocals. On Wrecking Light Records.
Vinyl LP £17.25 WLR002LP
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CD £11.49 WLR002CD
CD on Wrecking Light Records.
Still Corners baffle me as every album by them sounds like a different band. Their earlier work was ahead of it's time in that it sounded lots like Broadcast (see everyone's doing it now) but their last album was rubbish synth pop a bit like Ladytron. Following a move to America they've changed tack again but this time they may be on to something. A lot of people are doing the whole languorous widescreen Americana thing these days but Still Corners are showing themselves as very adept at it.
Slow Air has a cinematic feel to it that recalls Mazzy Star especially in Tessa Murray's achingly sultry vocals. It's party piece is 'The Message' which despite being the 2679th song this year to sound a bit like Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game', is a lovely atmospheric piece of work. Again, Murray's vocals elevate this, she sits just behind the classy, scripted instrumentation full of sleeping pedal steels and sun-soaked guitar strums. This sun-bleached Americana is soft ear listen and there are moments here where I suspect that Still Corners have been listening to War on Drugs for their production tips.
Comically, they use 'Black Lagoon' to once again re-use the chord sequence of Bronski Beat's 'Small Town Boy' which they also found room for on 'Dead Blue's opener 'Lost Boys'. This time it sounds even more like 'Small Town Boy'. It would be a nice track otherwise. I like the lazy, hazy feel of these tracks. They sort of slowly send me to sleep which is a good thing. I'm much preferring this more organic Still Corners than the synth heavy stuff they were peddling before.
8/10 Ben Straughair 20th December 2018
Dream pop layered with alternative indie tones. There is a notable confidence in the subtle style the band have developed from earlier releases. Tessa Murrays lyrics and vocals are engaging, emotive and appeal to ears that appreciate the tones of Hope Sandoval and Ruth Radelet. Neon lit night drive synths synchronized with lush acoustic guitar jangles and airbed bass. The simplicity of song structures, cleanly mixed and arranged is the central success. Inferred yet surreptitious there are many influences at play here. From One Dove sparkling Chromatics to Bronksi beat high energy and Fleetwood’s Stevie. There are a few stunning stand out tracks but the LP in its entirety is damn fine coffee and a slice of Cherry Pie.
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