Sun-Bathing Under Smoky Skies: The Hazy Summer Sounds of Still Corners

25 Aug

Still Corners

Summer is so draining. Have you seen what happens to people in the summer? They’re zombified. They talk slower, move slower, look generally unkempt (which works in my favor since it just so happens I’m into dudes that look like they’d laugh in your face when you ask them if they shower), and are really tired all the time. But that’s kind of perfect. Save your go-getting hustle for thick sweater weather and your I Want To Work For Diddy audition tape. Summer is for lazing by the pool baking like a Christmas ham. It’s for cutoff shorts and sweaty beers. It’s for high ponytails and popsicles.

And if you happen to need an album to soundtrack all the mid-day naps in the grass or the long hours spent roasting in the car on your way home from work, then you’re in luck. Still Corners–the dreamy quintet that is currently being hailed as the British Beach House–understands summer. More importantly, they understand the feeling of summer. Their music, equal parts lilting, slurring, and sexy–like a girl at the bar that manages to become more attractive as she gets drunker–moves slowly and lightly, like gauzy curtains rustling in the breeze with frontwoman Tessa Murray’s ethereal, almost whispery voice floating atop it like a canoe on a lake. It’s serene, but there’s a darkness to it. It’s the pleasantry that draws you in and the mystery that makes you stay.

The band’s only EP, 2008’s Remember Pepper, a six-track stroll through the most maudlin French carnival you could ever attend, feels distinctly more wintery, and makes you crave tiny cups of espresso and wearing heavy jackets with brightly patterned scarves, but the group’s newest releases, two 7-inches entitled Endless Summer and Don’t Fall in Love/Wish are adamantly summery; “Wish” is delicate and light, soft and sweet like a melting ice cream cone, while “Don’t Fall in Love” is hazy and dark, like dusk. The Beach House comparisons are most obvious on “Endless Summer,” which recalls the dense lo-fi pop of Devotion, but is infinitely sexier. Murray’s voice, best described as Beth Gibbons of Portishead doing a Victoria Legrand impersonation, is indisputably gorgeous, both eerie and powerful. It’s a gunslinger dressed in lace. It’ll smile when it hits you.

Still Corners is music, for lack of (and no desire for) better words, to get fucked to, and music to get fucked up to. And that’s really what summer is all about anyway, right?

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