Still Corners
The Last Exit



by fogza USER (30 Reviews)
February 24th, 2021 | 7 replies

Release Date: 01/22/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music for perfume advertising.

Still Corners have flirted a little with the "music for road movies" aesthetic. On their latest, they move the synths to background and go almost fully twang, possibly leaving them exposed.

Hardly a revolutionary act, Still Corners' strength lay in balancing the electronic and natural well. Vocalist Tessa Murray has also always navigated the restrained instrumentals with detached aplomb, nestling in the waves of synth and guitar as if they were a comfortable, second home. Her precision and instinct fit with the vague dreamy new wave sensibilities, and it's that confidence that makes the music work.

Here, sadly, I feel the more organic backdrop feels like a perfume ad interpretation of driving across a desert location. There's plenty of bent guitar, shimmering acoustic strum, and soft brushed drum. The 'Wicked Game' playbook is in full effect, and while they manage to create a pretty facsimile, I'd be hard pressed to remember a lyric or moment in any of these songs. Storytellers they are not - vague neutrality is their friend.

Nothing on here doesn't sound "nice" however; I just imagine that most of us would prefer our desert Americana to have at least some blood or bite. A snarl or break in a vocal line wouldn't go amiss, or perhaps a piano interlude with one bum note. 'Crying' is one of the songs which puts the synths a little more front and center, but relies on a mournful whistle to create an emotional connection. Murray sings with breathy disinterest - when she utters "It's so hard", it sounds like she's absentmindedly replying to a troubled friend while flipping through her phone.

'White sands' rides a unmemorable little keyboard lick - surf guitar hangs off the track it like too much fake spiderweb at Halloween. It substitutes breathiness for genuine changeups, and just seems incapable of getting started despite the driving bassline. This trend continues in the generic 'A kiss before dying'. These songs exist in West of a sound stage - one push and the saloon will fall over.

As with someone like Chris Isaak, Still Corners rely on a carefully sculpted sense of style. When Isaak shifts out of a mumbling Lothario reverie in the immortal 'Wicked Game' to intone "I never dreamed that I'd find somebody like you", we buy his tortured act, if just for a second. Even though we shouldn't. Nothing here rises above the mix to imprint itself in our consciousness. Next time, I hope they pastiche with feeling.

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user ratings (9)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 24th 2021


Album Rating: 2.5

I won't lie, I was disappointed with this.

Digging: The Great Yawn - The Waves? The Tide and The Moon

Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2021


Album Rating: 3.0

Just gave this a spin, I like the atmosphere conjured by this album, but as the review states, a bunch of the songs don't really hold up

Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2021


Nice review, sums up this band pretty well - pleasant but bland. Doubt I'll check this as I felt like they exhausted everything they had to say after their first couple albums.

February 25th 2021


"The Last Exit"

fingers crossed...


February 25th 2021


yea was disappointed revisiting them, will not be checking this out

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

February 25th 2021


>fingers crossed...

ehhh theres much stronger contenders for "bloody hang it up already for christ's sake" i think

February 25th 2021


haha sure sure, contenders or not these guys need to hang it up already for christ's sake

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