The Stills

Without Feathers

Maybe they’ve been putting something in the tweed stiffener across the Atlantic, because suddenly all the bookish indie sop-rockers (Modest Mouse, The Shins, The Hold Steady) have transformed into bombastic rockers with flaming horn sections and production like Arcade Fire mating with their mixing desks. Hence nice Canadians The Stills’ second album comes on like it’s soundtracking an art-house blockbuster about superheroes in marriage counselling. ‘She’s Walking Out’, ‘The House We Live In’ and ‘Destroyer’ tackle delicate emotional minutiae with an epic pop wallop and harmonies like universes exploding. Yet another Next Flaming Lips emerges from beneath the librarian’s skirts. In the ‘Neon Bible’ section, of course.

Mark Beaumont

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