Still Corners – “The Photograph”

Last month, Still Corners announced their fourth album, Slow Air. This time around, the duo of vocalist Tessa Murray and songwriter/producer Greg Hughes were drawing inspiration from a new set of life circumstances. Historically based in London, they moved to the States and wrote Slow Air in the hills outside Austin, discovering new sounds in the thickness of a Texan summer. We previously heard the album’s lead single “Black Lagoon,” and it suggested that Murray and Hughes might abandon their glossy synth-pop roots for something a little smokier and enigmatic in their attempt to capture their experiences driving through the American desert and taking in a different country.

Today, Still Corners are back with another new song called “The Photograph.” While “Black Lagoon” leaned into more organic instrumentation and guitar-centric sonics, “The Photograph” is perhaps more reminiscent of Still Corners’ past in its gauzy, lush synthscapes. Described by the band as a “darkly-romantic torch song dedicated to a lover long gone with only a photograph left to remind,” there is something elegiac about the heaving layers of synths and Murray’s voice growing distant and processed in the chorus.

Even as it works with a different palette than “Black Lagoon,” “The Photograph” similarly conjures up the landscapes that were influencing Still Corners — it’s the sound of barreling through desolation in the desert, with nothing to distract you from following your thoughts down all kinds of pathways lined with lost memories. Like you’re encountering ghosts out in the wasteland.

Appropriately enough, “The Photograph” is also accompanied by a video that hints at all that. Just as they did for “Black Lagoon,” Still Corners directed and filmed the clip themselves and returned to the landscapes that birthed Slow Air. This time, they set the scene in the Arizona desert. The central image is Murray walking away from the camera down an empty stretch of highway, then away deeper into the desert. Occasionally, there are some neat overlay tricks that evoke the feeling of different memories, different periods of time, colliding in your perception. Check it out below.

Slow Air is out 8/17 via Wrecking Light. Pre-order it here.