Still Corners / Strange Pleasures - SP1035
Greg Hughes, the driving force behind London’s Still Corners, is not one to rest on his laurels. Despite the critical plaudits hurled at the band’s 2010 debut Creatures of an Hour (“indulgently seductive” opined NME; “an astounding debut” purred Drowned in Sound), Hughes is blessed with the kind of inexorable ardor for refreshing and sharpening his muse that is common to expert sculptors of elegant pop music. “I’ll never be satisfied with any of it, I need to keep trying new things,” he concedes. “Still Corners is The Enterprise, for me.”
Riding that insatiable kinesis over the last two years has resulted in Hughes, along with singing accomplice Tessa Murray, fashioning Strange Pleasures, a devastating sophomore album which is destined to usher Still Corners to a deserved place at dream-pop’s high table. The album was captured in Hughes’ Greenwich studio, with the protean multi-tasker handling all the instruments and penning most of the lyrics. Where its predecessor soared on sugared layers of shoegazing-infused retro-futurism, Strange Pleasures proffers a leaner, more acute extrapolation of ’80s-suffused song and studio craft, navigating a sinuous trajectory between velveteen Angelo Badalamenti noir-pop torch song sophistication, ethereal Cocteau Twins beauty and the glacial, mellifluous territory mapped by Modern English, The Cure and The Passions.
For Hughes, an Austin native whose plans to move to Brooklyn were sidetracked when he fell in love London’s worldly charms, the new album is more than just a stylistic progression from Creatures of an Hour. “Musically, Creatures… was soft and relaxing but it was a massively cathartic record for me. I was destroyed after being in a relationship; it’s all in there, suicide… all that stuff. I needed to calm my soul and Creatures… did that for me. Strange Pleasures is more of an adventure out toward the open seas. It’s an exploring type of record: strange new lands, strange new love…”
Presaged by the soaring “Fireflies” single (Pitchfork’s Best New Track of 9/28/2012), Strange Pleasures brings the Still Corners story up to date.
The vinyl LP comes with a digital download code of the entire record.
People who pre-order Strange Pleasures on CD or LP from SubPop.com will receive a limited-edition scrap book featuring pages taken directly from Still Corners’ lyric book as they were writing the record as well as images from the recording process.
People who pre-order the record on LP will receive the colored-vinyl, limited Loser Edition version of Strange Pleasures. And as is the nature of limited things, the sooner you order, the better, as they will run out!
Released: May 7, 2013
Still Corners / Creatures of an Hour - SP940
Creatures of an Hour, the debut full-length by London’s Still Corners glows with the delicate vocals of singer Tessa Murray and the atmospheric, cinematic influences of songwriter Greg Hughes. A devoted cinephile, Hughes sees film as a major influence in the band, from the projections (created by band member Leon Dufficy) that feature heavily in their live performances, to the free-floating grace of the new album.
Recorded at his own studio in Greenwich, Creatures of an Hour fuses whispered intimacy to the emotional expansiveness of composer Ennio Morricone. Hughes has crafted an album of deceptively simple songs that linger like half-remembered dreams. Lead single Cuckoo shines in its simplicity, a single drumbeat, ghostly guitar, and distant organ highlighting Murray’s haunting soprano as she asks, “I’d like to read your mind/can you read mine?” Hughes explains, “It’s about being confused. Am I going crazy? Does this person like me? What’s happening? That’s the vibe of the whole record really.”
For now, Hughes is happy to maintain Still Corners’ musical mystery. “I don’t like to talk too much on decoding the songs. It takes the mystery away,” he says. Reviewers like Gorilla vs. Bear, Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound, however, have proven more than happy to sing the praises of Still Corners’ pop beauty. So grab some popcorn and stick around—for Still Corners this is just act one.
If you pre-order Creatures of an Hour by October 11th, you’ll receive, for free, a flexi-disc (for those who don’t know, as flexi-discs have only recently reemerged from extinction, here is an explanation of what these really cool things are) featuring
an otherwise unavailable, and the remarkably necessary Still Corners track “Cabot Cove.” “Cabot Cove” is also available as a bonus track on the version of Creatures of an Hour available in the iTunes Music Store. The flexi-disc we are giving away here is, so far, the only place you can get this song on a physical format. This offer is only being extended to the first 200 pre-orderers, by the way!
Released: October 11, 2011