Still Corners – Slow Air

This is the fourth album by Still Corners, described as ‘dream pop’ it presents to us a dreamy, familiar sounding album laced with atmosphere and mood. The London based duo has Tessa May providing haunting vocals, and with Greg Hughes accompanying, the pair produce the sound of an orchestra.

By Martin Frank

Their music is gloriously understated with familiar beats and subtle nuances; they gently whisk you away to somewhere new with each track and are in no rush to tell the stories within. Slow Air is filled with retro sounds in new ways, there are hints and flavours of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Edwin Collins, Portishead and Bronski Beat but always smothered and calmed to be performed in a Still Corners kind of a way.

Opening with In the Middle of the Night feeling like a lost track from Dark Side of the Moon Tessa’s ephemeral voice picks us up and transports us to a future past. “In the middle of the night, it was all so clear” she gasps as she sings. The Message puts us in a car on an American highway in the rain, it has a subtle dance beat that will have you swaying in a dark, dark road that could be off route 66. “I love to drive the highways, the skyways, just to get lost,” Tessa sings this dream for us. Sad Movies predictably reminds the listener of lost loves, it’s creepy but in a good way, without the obsession, and a track filled with atmosphere like most of the album.

The surprise for me are the instrumental tracks, these are total escapism and you soon become absorbed in their beauty. Welcome To Slow Air is set in a jungle, starting with soft tribal beats and interspaced with tropical birds singing, supported by a gentle background dance beat that makes us move to rhythm of this track like saplings in a breeze. It’s pure synthesiser magic and not a million miles away from John Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans, only more modern and fresh.

There are so many good things about this album that make me smile, Whisper is slow and sensual as Tessa croons, “Take my hand to the edge and whisper, whisper” it’s fabulously seductive. Meanwhile, Fade Out takes us back to the early eighties with its synthesiser, giving us a little Yello with a touch of Vangelis.

This album revels in the past glories of electro-pop by giving us new sounds that are familiar, and yet are distinctly Still Corners’. Having played this album over and over, we keep finding new pieces like hidden treasures within the tracks that we like and our favourite changes. This album is definitely a grower.

Slow Air is released on the 17th August 2018.