published: 8 /
Wrecking Light Records
Remarkable fifth album from dream pop pioneers Still Corners who for inspiration for this new record have taken an extraordinary trip into the American desert in search of something beyond our normal vision
Dream pop pioneers Still Corners have been consistently releasing albums of quality for a few years now. The previous album ‘Slow Air’ saw further progression, and the cut ‘Black Lagoon’ was a hint towards the direction the band were heading.
Composing of Tessa Murray and Greg Hughes, Still Corners feature Murray’s sultry vocals and ethereal synthesizers and Hughes’ tasteful guitar work. For this their fifth album they hit the road into the desert in search of something beyond our normal vision.
The resulting ‘The Last Exit’ is nothing short of magnificent. In production the album catches the sense of wide open desert landscapes and highways, and of places forgotten and derelict. Nothing is hurried, and when Murray who is on top form huskily whispers ”I’ve roamed across the badlands” you believe her. Meanwhile Hughes’ guitar captures the classic desert sound moaning like the wind on the prairie.
Listening to ‘The Last Exit’ is a road trip in itself. The opening title track tells you everything you need to know. It is easy-paced with that haunting guitar before the mysterious vocal delivery sends tingles down your spine. You might think “This is okay“ but when the magic happens it grabs you and doesn’t let go. Unexpectedly ‘Crying’ introduces a plaintive motif in the form of whistling, giving a sense of Ennio Morricone except there is only good here, no bad and no ugly.
‘White Sands’ is probably a masterpiece. Kicking off with a thunderstorm and a driving beat, Murray informs us she came from a lonely highway and you do not doubt it for one second. The guitar solo paints cloudless wide open skies and we are invited to ride on the lonely highway. How can you resist? It is like being in a David Lynch film. This impression continues with the spooky instrumental ‘Till We Meet Again’ with haunting guitar and strange electronics .
‘Bad Town’ is pure American Noir, telling the story of ghosts and places you can never escape from.
This album is its own road trip. ‘Mystery Road’ again reflects Lynch’s universe on a road where there is nothing except a chance encounter. A pulsing beat pushes you along, and that guitar echoes around your brain.
‘Static’ and ‘It’s Voodoo’ continue to intrigue. Images of haunted dreams dark clouds, storms and fallen telegraph wires are all wrapped in this dusty soundscape that is perfectly summed up on the instrumental ‘Shifting Dunes’ enhanced by superb keyboards from Murray.
The road trip finally ends with the simple but effective ‘Old Arcade’. A strummed guitar allows Tessa Murray to showcase her vocal range, recounting ghosts of times past. Hughes’ guitar soars in the desert sky like a UFO before the acoustic guitar fades into the night.
If ‘Last Exit’ were a movie, it might be ‘Paris Texas’ or ‘Twin Peaks’. It’s that good, but Still Corners have forged their own dustbowl noir.
The Last Exit
Till We Meet Again
A Kiss Before Dying