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Still Corners (2)


Four years after their first visit and interview for the Basement (check here), Still Corners -Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray- returned for a cool and interesting chat with our team. Their beautiful new album "The Last Exit" is just out via Wrecking Light and this fact was the perfect flashpoint for their comeback here.

The album, which is the fifth in the duo's 10-year discographical history, is an intriguing and adventurous record, a great new step in their sound and style. Using the solid bases of their previous work, especially the last two LPs ("Dead Blue"/2016 & "The Slow Rush"/2018),  Greg and Tessa move forward and deliver a gem that magically captures their "desert noir" sound, an innovative and absolutely thrilling combination of dream pop and western sonic elements.

A few days after we sent our questions to Greg and Tessa, their Athens show was announced (Gagarin 205, 24/10) and we are obviously more than happy on the occasion. Still Corners have developed a special connection with the Greek audience and this will be the fourth time they are visiting our country for a live performance. The last one, the one in Gagarin back in 2018, was a blast, a sold-out glorious night that blew our minds and we will never forget. Let's hope that the whole Covid thing will be finally under some control and live shows and gigs will be back in our lives.

Until then, we are more than happy and proud to present you Still Corners, here's the conversation we had with them a few days ago...

 



The Last Exit (out 22/1 via Wrecking Light)

Building on 2018’s SLOW AIR, Still Corners return with an album about the myth and folklore of the open road.  In a world where everyone thinks all the corners of the map are filled in, Still Corners  believe there's something beyond what we see and feel, something eternal in the landscape of those never-ending drives.  

With the shimmering desert noir sound the band has become known for, THE LAST EXIT takes you on a hypnotic journey, one filled with dilapidated towns, mysterious shapes on the horizon, and long trips that blur the line between what’s there and not there. Greg says, “We found something out there in the desert – something in the vast landscapes that went on forever."

THE LAST EXIT consists of eleven beautifully crafted songs with organic instrumentation, clean-toned guitar, spacious drums and the smoky croon of Tessa Murray. Album highlights include “The Last Exit”, “White Sands” and “Shifting Dunes” all of which evoke the vast space of the desert and rolling unconcerned skies.
 

 




The Basement: Tessa and Greg we are very happy to welcome you back in. How are you, how are things going?

Hello and thank you.  We are doing okay, hanging in there.  We've been busy with our record release so that's good, it's kept our minds occupied.
 

The Basement: New album “The Last Exit” is just out. How would you describe your new work?

We call it desert noir, it's a combination of dream pop and surreal western atmosphere.  We have tried a few different things on our albums but this album focuses on the voice and guitar primarily.  We've added in slide guitar, nature recordings and a clean-tone sound that we love.  You can expect to be fully immersed in the little world that we have created for you.



The Basement: Tell us about the things that influenced and inspired you when writing the album... For instance, your music reminds us of a trip. Does a trip or even a landscape offers you an inspiration, to turn the picture into music?

This album is about what we call "desert fever", it's not a medical condition, it's the sudden desire to leave the city and head to the clean lines of the desert, to get away and feel the isolation.  It's out in the desert we felt this album shaping, the vast open space, the mountains, the heat and air, the ghosts, the plants and animals.  We put all of that on the album.
 

The Basement: We would also like to know about the recording phase... 

We use old tube based gear, old tube mics, a tube summing mixer, ribbon mics and tube compression and tube EQ.  We make all our own records in a home studio and we've tried a lot of different types of gear but it's the old 1950's designs that we love best.  It has tons of character and can be unpredictable, but we like that.  One of the instruments we used a lot on this album is a 1956 Fender lap steel guitar, it has an incredible tone that you can't get anywhere else.  They just don't make them like that anymore.
 

The Basement: Do you think that you will be able to tour this year? What are your thoughts and reckoning on the Covid situation?

I think there's a chance yes.  It's an awful situation for everyone.  We're social creatures by nature, coming together for a live show and sharing that type of bond is deep and really a primal thing we all need in life, so like everyone else we hope we can fix this situation and come together again soon.  When we do it will be a joyous experience. Hopefully the show at Gagarin will go ahead.



The Basement: How deeply do you believe the whole Covid thing influenced music industry? Do you thing that musicians can turn things round or the damage is somehow permanent?

Nothing is permanent in life, the only constant is change so yes eventually things will adjust and we'll get back to something resembling normalcy, the question is how long.  
 

The Basement: Speaking about live performances, we shall never forget your sold out stunning appearance at Gagarin Athens in November 2018. What are your memories of that night?  We are well aware of the fact that you love Greece. Given this chance, did you try our famous souvlaki?

That was one of the best experiences in our life!  You are right, we absolutely love Greece and have always dreamt about living there.  Of course we have tried souvlaki!  Ha!  We love it and gobble up everything when we visit, it's almost embarrassing.  It's an exquisite country for so many reasons, the history, the landscape, the people and culture.
 

The Basement: Your beautiful debut “Creatures of an Hour” was released in 2011, so this year you celebrate 10 years in discography... What were your dreams and expectations back then - have they become true?

It's been a long glorious journey.  We really love running our own label, the whole process of releasing an album - production, radio, record shops, etc.  We like cultivating relationships with the people that work in these parts of the industry and being part of that process.  It feels good to get to know them, it's more work but it's honest work.  When we think back over the last 10 years it's a combination of coming into our own as artists and working on our own label that we're most proud of.  It's been a wild ride but we've loved it.
 

The Basement: Which moments would you choose as the most difficult during this decade? And, on the other hand, which moments would you pick as the most crucial and significant for your progress?

If I had to pick the most difficult it would be now, the world is essentially in lockdown and there has been a lot of suffering.  We thought now more than ever is an important time to release an album, we knew we wouldn't have much of a chance for touring but we had the album ready and we thought "let's put light into the world."  The best moment?  I would say right now as well.  We are alive, we are making music, we have friends and family and our fans, we woke up another day and we're very grateful for those things.  As Dickens said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
 

The Basement: How do you spend time not spent in making music?

That's hardly ever but cooking, hiking, reading and of course watching a lot of films.  Also discovering new music.
 

The Basement: Let’s assume there is someone who knows nothing about Still Corners, if any. Describe the band in 3 words.

Mysterious, romantic, searching.


The Basement: Thank you so much! Wish you the best.

Thank you for having us, we hope to see you this year!

 


@ Gagarin, November 2018.

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