With a story that sounds just like an indie romance script, Still Corners began when songwriter, guitarist and drummer Greg Hughes first saw vocalist Tessa Murray after the two both happened to de-board a London Bridge-bound train at the same time. And as they say with love at first sight, which turned to musical interest at first sight, the rest is history. Hughes and Murray teamed up with bassist Leon Dufficy and guitarist Luke Jarvis to produce the group’s first full-length album, Creatures Of An Hour. The movie-like start of the band shines through, as the cinematic feel of the album couldn’t make it a more perfect fit for an indie romance or drama starring the likes of Zooey Deschanel or Michael Cera.
Whispered, airy vocals from Murray float through the mist of ghostly guitars and organs, creating a dreamy aesthetic that easily shifts into more of a nightmare and then back again. Opener “Cuckoo” is introduced with the strong pulse of a bass drum from Hughes, who adds in a snare drum on the off-beat, as the track flourishes with Murray’s soft, breathy vocals drifting into the mix. Even the lyrics add to the ambient mood as Murray sings, “It’s like we’re going cuckoo/Me and you, stuck in a time machine/That was just a dream,” fading out to a heartbeat rhythm of bass drum and vocals. And just when listeners are relaxing, Still Corners offers up an appropriately circular organ melody with incoherent and faded vocals on “Circulars,” a track worthy of the creepiest haunted house.
“Endless Summer” continues in a similar vein but becomes a lighter track with the addition of Murray’s secretive whispers, heavy organs and a steady, syncopated drum beat. Spiraling vocal harmonies bring the album back to its dreamier sound, rather than the harshness of “Circulars.” Innocent chimes reminiscent of a childhood music box along with echoes of questions “Is it true?/Is it you?” are a perfect fit for the wintery feel of “The White Season.” Still Corners is quick to bring back the eerie side of the album, however, on “I Wrote In Blood.” Channeling the likes of Warpaint, “I Wrote In Blood,” employs grim chord changes and an accompanying melody, bursting into a looping keyboard riff that’s like a distant cousin of the Twilight Zone theme. Similarly, “Velveteen” balances Murray’s ethereal vocals against dark guitar licks and haunting keyboard riffs.
Balancing dark and light, between the worlds of dreams and nightmares, Still Corners’ debut is full of the deceptively simple and the intriguingly confusing without straying far from its cinematic sound.