Stepping into a Dream
Creatures of an Hour, the first full-length album from British twosome Still Corners, has an aptly chosen name. The album is full of ethereal pop and subtly woven melodies that constantly appear and fade, evoking an unearthly feeling. Although the album is just over 30 minutes long, Still Corners manage to make it feel much longer (in a good way).
The album starts off with the sounds of a dreamlike organ pulsating on “Cuckoo.” Vocalist Tessa Murray’s signature airy crooning floats through the atmospheric music, high and delicate. The spacey, ambient quality of “Cuckoo,” like many of the songs on Creatures of an Hour, envelops you and whisks you away through vibrating sound waves. On “Circulars,” layers of synth lines build on top of a single anchoring melody, laced with shivering guitars. There are few words in “Circulars,” as well as in several of the album’s other tracks, but Still Corners rely more upon the music itself than lyrics; instrumentalist Greg Hughes creates enough emotion and writes with a dynamism that keeps you listening.
“Endless Summer” uses beautiful arpeggiated chords wrapped in reverb and echoing drums to create a big, melancholy sound evocative of August twilight, after the sun has set and the heavy humid air sinks down. Murray and Hughes jump to a wintry theme on “The White Season,” a paean to the colder months that sounds like a sad lullaby with its gentle keys and Murray’s vocals.
The album’s subtle diversity comes into play on “I Wrote in Blood.” It has a dark Western showdown feel, with low distorted guitars rocking obsessively back and forth beneath wobbly guitars and ominous keys. “Demons” sticks out from the rest of the album as well—it’s the only track with acoustic guitars. Melodic Spanish undertones give the song a brooding atmosphere similar to that of “I Wrote in Blood,” though it isn’t quite as dark.
Creatures of an Hour shows that Still Corners have a talent for making evocative, beautiful music. This is the stuff you’d listen to while walking around alone at night, under hazy streetlights and heavy leaves, off in a world far removed from the realities of daylight. It will be interesting to see what the duo does next and how its music develops, after these creatures’ first hour is up.