The Twilight Sad

Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave

Written by: TL on 03/12/2014 16:59:44

For anyone acquainted with Scottish rock music, it's pretty clear that the dialect has a certain melodious property to it that just makes it a bit better for singing than other varieties of English, and nowhere has this been more apparent than on the albums of Kilsyth trio The Twilight Sad, who recently put out their fourth album "Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave", once again releasing via FatCat Records. Persistently, the band has mixed tempered beats, menacing guitar noise and icy synths into a sound that is the quintessence of gloom and melancholia, and in this dark envelope, their listeners have been placed up close with singer James Alexander Graham, whose drawn out, yearning lines have always made you feel like crooning along in the deepest, roundest voice you can muster.

As such, not much has changed with "Nobody Wants To Be Here..", which makes sense because the band has staged it as an attempt to embrace all the nuances they've explored thus far into a single album. The rhythms are patient, and the soundscape almost three dimensional in feeling, as you can hear each note echo into oblivion on the excellent recording, which also perfectly displays the full width of Graham's voice, ever melodic and almost Morrisey-esque in its sorrowfulness, and with those crisp rolls of the tongue that are so characteristic of his dialect.

Stylistically, the band balances on a knife between genres like indie, post-punk, kraut-rock and occasionally even industrial, but this reads more eclectic than they are, because by being persistent The Twilight Sad have kept their limitations the same, namely that their various nuances are so subtle that their body of work, both on this album and overall, is homogenous to a fault. On one hand you'll recognise their sound instantly, and what an imposing and immersive sound it is - one that you will almost always welcome, both as room-filling background music or head-filling headphone music - but on the other hand, it is as difficult as ever to form specific relationships with any individual songs via anything else than careful listening to the lyrics.

The likely reason is that the instruments are kept quite comfortably in soundscaping roles, offering perhaps a brief organ signature or such at the opening of a song, only for it to float out into the layered backdrop and give way for Graham to do as he does. You sense that there's a potential for his emotive lyrics to be framed more characteristically apart, if they were perhaps weaved in and out of musical bits that were less discrete, instead of constantly sitting alone at the front of the stage. The result is of course as dreamy and compelling as ever, which means that for better or worse, The Twilight Sad haven't really gotten neither better, nor worse, and their new album. Don't be fooled though, for while the standouts are anyone's to pick, and while such a static style reads like it's boring, The Twilight Sad are still a good listen, one which new listeners are likely to be positively surprised by, if they take the time to put them on and slow down to the band's stately, thoughtful pace. In all likelyhood though, things will only really come together for those that go and feel the waves of noise roll over them in the live setting, which may sound like a cop-out, but only really describes the kind of band The Twilight Sad seem like - one that needs to be felt as much as heard.


Download: There's A Girl In The Corner, Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
For The Fans Of: Wild Beasts, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Frightened Rabbit

Release date 27.10.2014
FatCat Records

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