Band of the Day

2012.01.02

Still Corners

An enveloping bed of gauzy dream pop
When you're out of tune, but feel so right. Tide will be in soon, this softer light.
lyrics from Endless Summer

Still Corners are a dream-pop band based out of London, UK. The band formed thanks to a chance encounter; American expatriate and songwriter Greg Hughes struck up a conversation with Tessa Murray after getting off on a strange train stop. The two decided to form a project and Still Corners was born. Recorded in Hughes' flat in southeast London, Still Corners's debut album Creatures Of An Hour is filled with glistening, dreamy landscapes. The band takes cues from 80s dream-pop masters like The Jesus and Mary Chain and the Cocteau Twins, and features Murray's hauntingly beautiful vocals. Creatures Of An Hour was released by Sub Pop Records on October 7th, 2011, and the band has toured extensively in Europe and America in support of the album.

If there's ever an album that begs to be played on headphones, here it is. Slipping on a pair of headphones and pressing play on Creatures Of An Hour, Still Corners' debut album, is the sonic equivalent of taking a bath in warm, shimmering pink mist. Still Corners envelops you in a dreamy world of softly intimate vocals, melancholy organ and graceful splashes of guitar. Originally a duo consisting of American Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray, the London-based band is now a four-piece. Heavily inspired by cinema, they combine the surreal, ambient elements of classic film scores with 80s and early 90s dream-pop virtuosos like the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. Though just their debut, Creatures Of An Hour, released October 10th, 2011, feels remarkably cohesive; the songs flow together, shifting mood and tempo nimbly. “Cuckoo” begins with a solitary organ drone, a guitar that sounds like the whir of a helicopter in a half-forgotten dream, and a minimal beat that's hardly even there. Treated with a tasteful daub of gleaming reverb, Murray's voice is the star here. Even though it's barely more than a whisper, her voice cuts to the front of the mix, sounding like a beautiful confession she's letting you in on as she sighs, “It's all so very cuckoo/me and you” in her soft English accent. There's no real verse or chorus in the song, just a bewitching dreamy haze. It shares many of the same elements as contemporary dream-pop bands like Washed Out or Beach House, but it feels as tenderly intimate as a singer/songwriter. If Creatures Of An Hour was a film score, “Endless Summer” would soundtrack the climactic scene. It's got the same droning organ, but augments it with big thumping drums and cascades of dreamy guitars, going deep into shoegaze country. Murray is still half-whispering in the verse, but she grows giant vocals for the chorus, letting out a swelling wordless cry. With its dreamy, meditative mood, Creatures Of An Hour isn't the type of album you can put on anytime, but give it your full attention and you're in for an arrestingly gorgeous and surreal experience.