EP Review: Hospital Corner – Speaking New Languages

Edinburgh-based alternative rock project Hospital Corner, led by Chris Finn, has featured once before on this blog. In May this year, I discovered him through his bombastic single Seasonal Change. It’s a track that features on his debut EP that I just had to give a listen. It’s called Speaking New Languages.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Megan Henderson (@meganhenders0n on Instagram)

For his sound, Chris draws an a multitude of classic influences, including The Replacements, The Cure and Bruce Springsteen. He takes those influences and brings them right up to date in a way only he can, throwing plenty of himself into his sound and lyrical content.

The EP opens with Waiting For Me. There’s an instantly timeless feel about its opening riff. Chris has had it in his chamber for about ten years but has only just realised its full arrangement, which is lush and emotional, especially paired with soaring, soulful vocals. A feeling of uncertainty gives way to catharsis as the track reaches its climax. It’s a great start.

The aforementioned Seasonal Change comes next, providing a maximalist wonder. It’s the kind of rousing rock that will get you out of the darkest mood – appropriately as it’s about depression – and works nicely here within the context of the EP. It’s a highlight.

Every Sensory Pleasure is a brooding track that Chris admits to writing with a hangover. Piano-led and downbeat it perfectly capture the low point after the temporary high. New Sun wraps up the EP with a moment of escapism. Written during coronavirus lockdown, it imagines breaking orbit and finding a new world through lively yet deliberate indie rock and cosmic electronica. It’s another highlight.

Speaking New Languages was recorded at Chamber Studios, Leith, and produced and mixed by Tommy Phillips. Featuring on the record are Chris Finn on vocals, guitars and synths, Anna Isabelle on backing vocals, Gordy Burn on bass, Scott Forsyth on drums, and Duncan McQueen and Tommy Phillips on piano. It was mastered by Tom Woodhead of Hippocratic Mastering. It’s out now via Black Records, and you can give it a listen below.