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Still Corners embrace the desert's thick atmospherics on Slow Air

"Slow Air"

Release date: 17 August 2018
7/10
Still Corners Slow Air
17 August 2018, 17:08 Written by Joe Goggins
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There’s an old saying about how everything is a product of its environment.

In the case of the fourth Still Corners record, it rings deafeningly true. The London duo spent much of the press cycles for their first three albums recalling how it was that they met; in unbearably twee style, it was on the same train platform. Their music never reflected that, though; it was always less early Slow Club and more Chromatics - they were adventurously breaking their synth pop influences to fit their own bespoke mould, especially on 2013's Strange Pleasures, and frankly, they wouldn’t have looked an inch out of place if they’d popped up at The Roadhouse on the last series of Twin Peaks, even before Slow Air.

Now that it’s out, though, it feels like even more of a missed opportunity that they didn’t finish it in time to send David Lynch an advance copy. This is a record that drips with atmosphere, and is named as such; ‘slow air’ is to Texans what the idea of ‘close’ humidity is to Brits, and with the pair recording remotely in the hills in the Lone Star State, you realise the extreme degree to which that fed into the music.

Slow Air plays as if Mazzy Star had suddenly decided they wanted to make a Cocteau Twins record; vocalist Tessa Murray consistently channels Hope Sandoval’s sultry drawl, to best effect on "Black Lagoon" and opener "In the Middle of the Night", whilst elsewhere, you can hear the influence of latter-day Beach House; "Whisper" and "The Photograph" both flutter woozily. This one of those full-lengths on which it’s blindingly obvious from where the band are taking the cues, but it doesn’t matter; Still Corners have made the transition from synthpop to dream-psych very stylishly indeed.

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