Creatures of An Hour
Oct 07, 2011 Web Exclusive
"Endless Summer," the track that gave many music listeners their first taste of the U.K.'s Still Corners when it hit the web last year, exhibits a striking contradiction with its title. While the name evokes images of bright, cloudless skies, and hot sand underfoot, the music itself crackles with the chill of a cool autumn breeze. The song isn't about a summer at hand, but a summer that's just passed; it's a tribute to a bygone season, one that's arrived once the leaves have already hit the ground. Later in the band's full-length debut, Creatures of An Hour, "The White Season" looks ahead further to the coming winter.
This late-October vibe is strongest in the unsettling "I Wrote In Blood," in which the narrator obsessively fills the pages of a notebook with the name of a reluctant lover. Roughly-strummed guitar gives way to creeping electric piano, calling up horror film soundtracks such as Keith Emerson's score for Inferno or John Carpenter's iconic Halloween theme. The cinematic world that Still Corners inhabits skews often towards the ghostly; Tessa Murray's ethereal singing is certainly a main contributor to this. Greg Hughes' often spooky instrumentals seem almost piped in, as if arriving via shortwave from a place more distant than Murray's voice. Songs are spun together with airy vocals, vibrato organ, and slowly-pounding bass drum, drawing a chilly musical thread throughout the record.
In this impressive debut, Still Corners has crafted an appropriate album for the autumn season. There's an inherent beauty in the starkness of it all, and the open-ended lyrics help give the music a mysterious, often eerie ambience. This delicate, atmospheric music is an intriguing take on the dream pop canon; sparse and elegantly vexing, it's a fitting record to accompany the shortening days. (www.stillcorners.bandcamp.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10