Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Had a bit of a discussion this afternoon about haunted houses. There we were, just sitting on a sofa, in a hotel lobby and the subject came up, as it's that season for such subjects. Never been in one of the damned things. Never had any desire to have people scare me. Never really liked it when you're in the dark and something unexpected happens. These are things that I've determined are okay to do without - the whole paying to have someone leap out at me from behind obstructions, pretending to be an axe murderer on a rampage, with a blood thirst that knows no end. Tonight, listening to Still Corners, it feels like some of this London band's music wouldn't have ever existed without things that make up the essence of what's desirable about a haunted house - or the need for getting spooked by faces, for having those unexpected life moments that cause the pores to sweat in a matter of instants.
Here's to believing that Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray love a good haunted house, or a setting where there's much that could be shrouded in darkness and much that could figuratively grab you by the throat and make you shriek, but the only difference is that with their music, the emotions that they're conveying aren't harmless ones. They aren't people that you can laugh off as actors, playing the parts of people earning their keep to put fear in you. There are people here, doing the scaring, who are not wearing false fangs and carrying pitchforks. These are people who look pretty, who appear inviting, who look loving, but who are still going to shock you with their coldness.
The organ melts into a sparse guitar at the beginning of the song "I Wrote In Blood," and it's a song that feels as if mirrors are shattering, after words are written with invisible fingers, on the fogged up glass, urging you to get out if you knew what was good for you. The songs are as ominous, but as a good friend pointed out tonight "smoky sexy." Now, if haunted houses were more smoky sexy, I'd be there.
Still Corners Official Site
Sub Pop Records