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Still Corners: The Last Exit – album review

Front cover artwork

Still Corners: The Last Exit (Wrecking Light Records)
Ltd LP | LP | CD | DL
Rel Date: 22nd January 2021

Buy The Last Exit (LTW has an affiliate agreement with Sister Ray Records, London)

The fifth album from Still Corners, the ongoing project from multi-instrumentalist / producer Greg Hughes, and vocalist Tessa Murray, sees then retain their trademark cinematic, deeply atmospheric sound, a sound that was established within their 2011 debut ‘Creatures of an Hour’, however they seem to have taken their expansive sound on an epic journey into the sun-baked dirt roads of the American outback.

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Opener and title track ‘The Last Exit’ is expertly crafted, the vast spaces within the instrumentation mirrors the expanse of the shimmering desert, an almost brushed drum provides the platform for a gentle guitar and then Murray’s sensual vocal washes over you.

‘Crying’ travels similar trails complete with a haunting whistle and a beautifully simple piano melody, and yet there is something gloriously off-kilter about the piece, the bass seems to awkwardly vibrate yet provides the perfect platform for Murray’s vocal as a cymbal gently glistens in the mix.

‘White Sands’ opens with the sound of a high storm, the pace accelerates, we are propelled by refined beat, some exquisite guitar work weaves around a warm bass and breathy vocals, whilst ‘Till We Meet Again’ is almost a two-part instrumental, the opening a fragile coalescence of sounds, and deep in the mix vocals that transition into a sunlit swirling climactic apex before falling away.

 

‘Bad Town’ is appropriately darker, a storm is on the horizon as a bass drum sounds, fragile guitars pierce the gloom becoming a bewitching pointer to the road ahead.

‘Static’ was written during the pandemic lockdown, long after the initial album was completed, however as the need for social contact grew Still Corners were inspired to return to writing, the song is expectantly dark, complete with an eerie melody that leads into ‘It’s Voodoo’ which runs with the psychedelia that sends shivers down your spine and a baleful stuttering guitar that must have been nicked from Young Marble Giants ‘Final Day’.

Still Corners have created a beautiful album, yes there are similarities with Mazzy Star, Julee Cruise, even Chris Isaack, however they have more than enough nous to carve out their own identity. ‘The Last Exit’ evokes abandoned dime store towns, mirage like shapes melting in the distance of dreamy Americana, and right now that escapism is just what we need.

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More writing by Phil can be found at his Louder Than War Author’s Archive

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