After Dub FX (which was the first interview in English to the site), we get now the chance to know better Still Corners. Born in London in 2007, they are a dream pop/synthpop musical project consisting of songwriter/producer Greg Hughes and vocalist Tessa Murray. Last month they released their fourth album: «Slow Air». It’s an excellent album for a fantastic sunset in Lisbon, with a glass of wine in hand, being equally perfect for a sunset car trip between Sintra and Guincho beach. First concert to see in Portugal in Super Bock in Stock (November 24th)!”
EM: Hello and thank you for accepting this interview. Does dream pop/synthpop sound better in the Texas mountains than in the great London metropole or in the English seaside? Why did you choose that place to make the new album?
Tessa Murray: It sounds different. Just before we started work on this album, we were looking for some heat after lots of wind and rain by the sea in Deal in England. We also wanted to spend some time in the US and I had always loved Austin when we passed through the city on tour. The hill country around there is beautiful – an unusual landscape with strange trees and a wonderful sense of space. It gets so hot in the summer, it permeated our song writing without our even realising.
EM: “Slow Air” seems to be one of the “less overthinking” albums of Still Corners. Was your intention to create a more classic (without a profusion of layers) atmosphere in your sound?
Tessa Murray: We’d recently got hold of some great speakers and turntable and spent the last couple of years building our record collection with classic albums that we wanted to listen to again and again. Inspired by those, we set out to make an album that we wanted to listen to and we went with our instinct, rather than thinking too much. It was a really fun process, everything flowed and we were excited about the songs, it all fell together nicely.
EM: Can we say that the power of the instruments (guitar/drums) is gaining prominence in the sound of Still Corners?
Tessa Murray: Guitar has always been Greg’s main instrument and it’s been a feature on other albums but we wanted to embrace the guitar for this album. We went for drums that had a groove, to give it that sort of feel.
EM: One of the aspects that stand out when listening to your music is that you are making “music for music”, seeming to preserve the purity of artistic creation. Is this how you live your life?
Tessa Murray: Exactly, we like beautiful things and that’s what we’re aiming for in what we do. We try not to think about trends of what other people are doing and just focus on making music that inspires us.
EM: Do you know that Beach House has great success in Portugal? Why has Portugal not yet discovered you? And you already know Portugal?
Tessa Murray: I think Beach House has success everywhere, they’re an amazing band. We feel that we have barely touched Portugal and this is something that we want to change! The last time I went to Lisbon was a family holiday when I was 10, I had such a lovely time and it’s a beautiful country so I’m looking forward to coming back.
EM: What’s it like to work from 2011 to 2016 with one of the most reputed Label (Sub Pop) and then create your own label? Are not major label opportunities worth the loss of creative freedom?
Tessa Murray: Working with Sub Pop is great and it was fantastic to have our first two albums out with them. They helped us to reach a wider audience. We still work with them for Publishing but decided to set up our own label because we preferred the idea of being in control of the ship, making music for ourselves and putting it out into the world on our own terms. With streaming, it really makes it easy to do it yourself and we work with Cargo Records for physical distribution which means we can still get LPs and CDs into record shops.
EM: Btw, what do you consider to be the “state of art” of music in the World right now?
Tessa Murray: We love that streaming and vinyl reissues means that it’s easier to listen to the full history of music than ever before. We love discovering new things (both modern and older). There are some amazing musicians and bands making music right now – for the last few months we’ve been really into Todd Terje’s It’s Album Time and Nils Frahm All Melody.
EM: What names do you put on your “ideal festival”? (Alive or Not)
Tessa Murray: The Cure, Blonde Redhead, Broadcast, David Bowie (with Mick Ronson), Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Miles Davis
EM: If you had to identify the 5 best albums ever, what was your choice?
David Bowie – Low
Roxy Music – Avalon
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Paul Simon – Graceland
Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings
EM: What are your plans for the next months? For when a concert in Portugal?
Tessa Murry: We are in the midst of a big tour of North America and Europe, including our first show in Portugal at Super Bock em Stock in Lisbon. I think it’s just great to be out there playing and meeting people, Portugal has been on our list for a while so we’re happy to be there.
Thank you Tessa for the Interview and we wish you a lot of success!