This post is part of a series in which we review bands playing around town on Tuesday nights.
Tuesday, Nov. 1
It's always exciting when a band comes across the pond for the first time, be it The Beatles or, well, Still Corners. The London-based four-piece was part of a rash of international Sub Pop signings back in March, so yesterday marked their first visit to the city their label calls home. Their dark dream pop is a good look for a label that has increasingly diversified its roster recently. But singer Tessa Murray (the only one onstage with a mic) didn't have much to say about this momentous occasion-- "It's our first visit to Seattle. I wish we could stay longer," she offered, in a charming accent, of course.
Murray, who was dressed like Kirsten Dunst masquerading as a substitute teacher, remained taciturn throughout the show. Does it behoove the band to seem mysterious, or is she simply shy? An elusive air pairs well with their music, which combines darker elements from '60s pop, '70s krautrock, and '80s post-punk. With all the one-note, retro-leaning acts lately, it is refreshing to see a band who has enough range within their sound to keep things interesting. Guitarist Greg Hughes, the group's songwriter, led at least one killer instrumental jam-out during the course of the set, wringing space sounds and eerie slide tones out of his tortured instrument. Murray floated above it all, her breathy vocals reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell or Beth Hirsch, who contributed to Air's Moon Safari album.
Combined with the visuals projected on the wall behind them, the overall effect was hypnotic. I found myself wishing the Sunset had individual beds from which attendees could view the concert. But alas, there were no beds in sight, so after an interesting cover of The Boss's "I'm on Fire" and a few more original songs, the band wordlessly left the stage, leaving the crowd to similarly shuffle into the night.
Overheard: My friends claim Still Corners sound like nothing so much as Julee Cruise's album recorded for the soundtrack of Twin Peaks.