Hit of the week: Still Corners ‘Black Lagoon’

In past years, Still Corners were a London-based synth-pop duo. But ahead of their newly announced fourth album Slow Air, they made some changes. Now based in Woodstock, NY, the group’s stateside phase first began in Austin, where songwriter/producer Greg Hughes and vocalist Tessa Murray relocated to work on new music. The resulting album is thematically and aesthetically indebted to their new surroundings; they cite the deep, suffocating heat of a Texan summer as the inspiration for the title Slow Air.

Accordingly, Slow Air might turn out to have a more organic, sun-drenched sound than their past work. “We wanted to hear beautiful guitar and drums and an otherworldliness, something almost indefinable along with a classic song writing vibe,” Murray said of their ambitions going into the album. “We’re always trying to get the sound we hear inside of ourselves, so we moved fast to avoid our brains getting in the way too much. The name Slow Air evokes the feel of the album to me, steady, eerie and beautiful.”

Along with the announcement, Still Corners shared Slow Air’s lead single “Black Lagoon” as well as an accompanying video that they shot themselves with a handheld camera. The video splices performance footage with clips of the band traveling through Texas, Arizona, and California, through the desert and to the ocean “in search of a lost Eden.” The whole thing has a vintage quality to it, a sort of lived-in brightness burning inside the images.

It’s a fitting pairing with the song itself, which seems to be a pretty good summation of what Still Corners were going for with Slow Air. There’s still synthesizers and a certain atmospheric shimmer at play, but it’s deployed in a specific way: Listening to “Black Lagoon” totally conjures up the Texan summer, as well as ambling, endless journeys through the American desert. Dominated by mirage-like guitars and Murray’s hazily sighing vocals, it’s got the sound of a road song — the kind of song that drives forward but also feels as if it may evaporate at any moment just like the landscapes tumbling by at your side.

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