Scottish indie rockers The Twilight Sad have given tracks from their latest release No One Can Ever Know a very interesting make-over in the form of nine cut up and remixed tracks to be released on Fat Cat this November. Established acts such as Liars, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, and upcoming acts like Warsnare and Ambassadeurs guest produce snippets of their songs with intense and engaging results.
Opening track “Sick” (Brokenchord Remix) slowly builds up a soundscape – windy, siren like noises come above a low rumble of repetitive bass lines. There is a repetition of faltering synth noises before it ends with a wall of noise. Twilight sad vocals are used sparsely but effectively- they contrast with the grumbly, noisy bass. The Com Truise Remix of “Sick” is a completely different take on the song with vocals from the opening. The vibe is trance-y with hard, repetitive beats. In “Nil” (Liars Remix)
crisp static sounds open before lead singer James Graham’s vocals come in with a stark contrast – Scottish tones over the harsh electronic mesh.
“Not sleeping” (Tom Furse Dub Mix) brings the energy down a notch, a welcome change, the dub sounds are melodic and soothing. It is also the longest track on the album at almost 7 minutes long. “Alphabet (instrumental)” (JD Twitch/ Optimo Remix)
is another more down tempo track before the high energy, “Not Sleeping” (Warsnare remix) with it’s bursts of crackly bass dispersed within the melody and only a few snippets of vocals. “Nil” (Breton remix) is bass heavy, rhythmic and with a delicate use of percussion in parts despite its overall loud and intense feel.
“Alphabet” (Ambassadeurs Remix) uses the hook in the chorus of the original track to great effect; the song is built up before the chorus and synth slam in. Graham sings: “You’re sick to death of the sight of me, now safe to say I’ve never wanted you more” and ends with “I was hoping on a good day that you would be fine, I was was hoping on a good day that you would be mine”. Take two for Brokenchord on the same track “Sick” (Brokenchord Remix 2) comes at the end of the album. This version is without clear use of vocals and the ones that are used have been distorted and chopped up/sped up creating a high pitched and interesting sound.
In releasing the album No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes, The Twilight Sad have obviously tried to show a different side to their music, and let other producers have fun with it. A remix album is a bold move considering how many off point remixes of almost every song out there float about in the blogosphere. But if anything, this album is evidence that the remix is not dead!
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.