Still Corners – Strange Pleasures

(Sub Pop)

STILL CORNERS play the Hoxton June 12. See listing. Rating: NNN

Eighties-influenced indie pop usually comes off as derivative or cheesy, so it’s exciting when a band finds an original sound in something as ubiquitous as a synthesizer. On Strange Pleasures, Still Corners ditch their 60s psychedelia shtick for sounds two decades younger, and it works.

The driving force behind the London-based duo is Greg Hughes, who wrote and produced the album, but it’s his accomplice, singer Tessa Murray, who steals the spotlight. Her delicate vocals sashay across circuitous guitar lines, glittering synth chords and drum machines and are layered so many times that it sounds as if a ghost is trailing her.

The most mesmerizing tracks, however, reference the duo’s pre-Sub Pop forays into soft ambience and dreamy melancholy. Sure, 80s lightness is great, but there’s something very cathartic about hearing Murray purr over simple guitar chords and a wispy keyboard.

Top track: Future Age

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