Sometimes I pace my apartment, glance around as if it's not my own,
sit at my kitchen table, shove my cuticles down, turn to the fridge,
open the door, stare blankly, swing it shut, twist a lock of my hair
around my index finger then I pace again. I want to redecorate
but I don't. I want to clean but I won't. Should I eat? I just did.
Should I write? I will tomorrow. Should I leave? Where will I go?
Don't feel like talking, reading, listening or watching. Don't want
to do any of that, don't know why either. My mind runs on, desperate
to do something yet against engaging in anything. So I fall into the
safety of being inside my head and nowhere else. So I stare,
sometimes at nothing out my window, sometimes at the swirling
textures in my ceiling, when in fact all I really see is inside me.
It's a strange feeling being stuck inside yourself you want to
be free but you just don't know how to get out.
Then, every once in a while, something happens. It lifts you from
your slumber and changes everything, like the sun forces night into
day. And, if you're me, that something that happens is good music. It
dances about the room like good company. The dulling darkness
disintegrates into a comforting glow and whispers like a guardian
angel in your ear: "You're fine just right here."
It was The Stills whose soothing sounds shook me up out of my head
one stagnant evening, warming the room. No longer did I feel the need
to occupy myself with reconstructing my surroundings the music
would do it for me. When this happens, it feels as if someone is
actually adjusting the lights, causing the room to suddenly take on
new form. That insufferable, constantly critical and forever
unsatisfied voice shrinks away with the shadows. Suddenly, life's not
so bad. Wait, in fact, it's nice, yeah, I'm glad I'm here; feeling
alive changes everything.
The Stills four-song debut EP, Remberese, is, yes, only four
songs, so does it really merit this kind of review? When you're down
and only one out of dozens of records picks you up? Yeah. Sure, maybe
they won't even earn two sentences in the history books, but they
made me sigh one evening at the dreary load they helped lift from my
shoulders. Their sound travels and broods and loves and dances. It's
heavily emotional and equally danceable. It could take you back to
Manchester, whisking you to those '80s dancehall
days complete with Duran Duran's busy beats and New Order's lovely
But it'll do more than that because it's beautiful music, still so
connected to its owners that it pours from the speakers just as it
seeped from the band's heart the day they first played it with
striking honesty. Textured with depth and oozing with both animosity
and adoration, the EP with the reverberating riffs at the
forefront and pulsating bass not far behind lingers like the
subtle aftertaste of good wine stirring atop your palate. Moving and
engaging (equal parts dance floor and stormy night), The Stills'
sound breathes, cries, smiles and sighs a lot like you and I.