Still Corners – 'Strange Pleasures' album review

Heavy-lidded pop meets fantasies of the open road on an album seemingly designed for car speakers

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Still Corners – 'Strange Pleasures'

  • Rated as: 4/5

It’s a shame this hazy pop duo from London hadn’t found their new sound around the time that director Nicolas Winding Refn was making his film ‘Drive’. The songs on this album would have matched perfectly with shots of Ryan Gosling hitting the gas and hurtling towards the sunset.

The bands that did feature on the ‘Drive’ soundtrack – College, Desire and The Chromatics – have clearly been an influence on this second album – encouraging the duo to add pulsing synth basslines to their existing dream-pop sensibilities. As a result, ‘Strange Pleasures’ feels like Beach House on a road trip (possibly to a beach house?) It’s a combination of heavy-lidded pop and fantasies of the open road seemingly designed for your car speakers.

‘The Trip’ and ‘Beatcity’ are the highlights – gorgeous pop songs with Tessa Murray’s eerily seductive voice high in the mix. But there are plenty of perfect moments across this album. The funereal pace of ‘Beginning to Blue’ and the haunting Echo & The Bunnymen guitars of ‘Midnight Drive’ chill rather than thrill, but keep you hooked.

Grab your bomber jacket and hit Hackney Road with this blaring out of your Fiesta. Ryan Gosling, eat your heart out.


See Still Corners live

Played Twice: 'Coltrane's Sound'

  • Critics choice

Do you like jazz? How about double jazz? A bar in Dalston has just announced a series of very cool sounds, which kick off this week with a new twist on an old masterpiece: Ornette Coleman’s ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’. Coleman, now 84 and still wailing on the sax, is a bona fide jazz icon who literally invented the term ‘Free Jazz’ with his 1960 album of the same name. ‘The Shape…’ dates from the previous year, and strikes a sublime and (at the time) revolutionary balance between far-out improv and cool grooves. When Miles Davis heard it, he said that Coleman was ‘all screwed up inside’. Dizzy Gillespie had a more straightforward view: ‘I don’t know what he’s playing, but it’s not jazz.’ Intrigued? If you head down to jazz bar and restaurant Brilliant Corners this weekend, you’ll hear ‘The Shape…’ not once but twice. The original album comes first, played through a high-end quadrophonic soundsystem. Then an equally high-end quartet of genre-blurring jazz musicians – including tenor sax hero Shabaka Hutchings (Sons Of Kemet) and mega-permed drummer Seb Rochford (Polar Bear) – take to the stage to reinterpret the whole album for 2014. Over the next couple of months, Brilliant Corners will be hosting two further Played Twice events for two more great LPs: ‘Coltrane’s Sound’ by John Coltrane (Oct 23) and Wayne Shorter’s ‘Speak No Evil’ (Nov 20). And if that still isn’t enough for you, Hutchings is part of a huge band reinterpreting John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ at the Union

  1. Brilliant Corners 470 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AE
  2. Thu Oct 23
More info
See all Still Corners events

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See Still Corners live

Played Twice: 'Coltrane's Sound'

  • Critics choice

Do you like jazz? How about double jazz? A bar in Dalston has just announced a series of very cool sounds, which kick off this week with a new twist on an old masterpiece: Ornette Coleman’s ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’. Coleman, now 84 and still wailing on the sax, is a bona fide jazz icon who literally invented the term ‘Free Jazz’ with his 1960 album of the same name. ‘The Shape…’ dates from the previous year, and strikes a sublime and (at the time)

  1. Brilliant Corners 470 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AE
  2. Thu Oct 23
More info

Listen to Still Corners on Spotify

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