Wrecking Light Records (label)
27 January 2021 (released)
27 January 2021
On their fifth album Anglo-American duo Still Corners (Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray) usher you down the path to ‘The Last Exit’. There you’ll encounter a superior collection of prairie-prog folk-rock desert-noir. With themes of panoramic pursuits and cinematic excursions of escape it contrasts greatly with the reality of its creation.
Written and recorded over the last 10 months of enforced interior-introspection, it’s a highly creative thing to engage with the outer-limits of inspiration and imagination when your ability to roam across physical space is limited and restricted.
If you can’t get ‘out’, get out of your head (artistically speaking). You can allow isolation and atomisation to dominate your every fibre and constrict and restrict OR you can travel in the mind, activate and exercise the imagination. Therefore, clamber aboard the astral plane and set the controls for the art of the headspun.
With ultra-vivid scenery and iconographic imagery of lonely and lost highways (‘White Sands’), setting suns that engender different energies, endless horizons of uncharted history and mystery (‘The Last Exit’), banished (dreamt) pasts of unwelcome returns (‘It’s Voodoo’), the eerie whistling of nameless strangers and one-horse town perimeters that ambiguously welcome ‘guests’ (‘Bad Town’), Still Corners are offering an all-round dream-trip to the hyperreal Westworld.
‘Till we meet again’ is wordless desert-prog noir, held by a slow-building lolloping bassline that leads to a climax of frenetic fuzz-out guitars with a sprinkling of electro-tinkling that wouldn’t be out of place on an Amon Düül LP.
Hughes’s delicate and swooning guitar inflections (echoes of Chris Isaak and also Mark ‘Dire Straits’ Knopfler’s ‘Country & Northern’ twanging © Mark E. Smith) are especially effervescent on ‘White Sands’ and the standout ‘It’s voodoo’: the former is a wide-screen wanderlust akin to Pat Benatar’s rocky-heartlands of intrigue and mystery. The latter is a haunting tale of the past refusing to stay there, uprooted and rerouted memories stalking your shadows as ’echoes on the wind’. It’s effervescence disguising its occult-ured Americana.