Artist: The Twilight Sad
Title: No One Can Ever Know
Record Label: Fat Cat
Scottish indie shoe gazers The Twilight Sad are due to release their third full length album this February. After releasing their first, very shoe gaze influenced, album in 2007 the band have since changed direction releasing a more personal and darker feeling second album two years later. No One Can Ever Know marks another stylistic change for the three-piece; it is made up of sparser sounding krautrock influenced tracks but still held together by lead singer James Graham’s distinctively thick Scottish tones.
The Kilsyth born band is made up of James Graham on vocals, Andy MacFarlane on guitar, and Mark Devine on drums. The band worked with producer Andrew Weatherall (has produced the likes of Beth Orton and Primal Scream) who helped create the overall sound of the album by experimenting with analog synthesizers. It’s these synth sounds which really define the dark, sinister feelings apparent in many of the tracks.
The first single from the album, Sick was made available as a 7″ vinyl and digital download in November of last year. It is a moving track punctuated with a snare and spacey keys. Dead City opens with industrial sounding synth and guitar, and is full of angry remorseful sounding lyrics: “I should have said no to her” Graham pronounces. Don’t Move is driving, a dark sounding march with more sad sounding lyrics; “I’ll value you more than you’ll ever know and I want you more than you will ever know”. Behind every drum beat and guitar strum are the synth sounds that add a mechanical melancholy.
At many points, Graham’s accent is so strong that the lyrics are obscured, or drawn out so much that the words are difficult to make out, but it doesn’t distract from the essence of the album. Another Bed is a dancier track, the beat speeds up and mingles with Graham’s rolling of the tongue. The album’s closing track Kill It in the Morning was released for free on their new website and Soundcloud page in September, and it’s the perfect finishing track – the synth sounds are at their most experimental and the tension created with the drum beat and urgent vocals is the highpoint of the album.
Catch The Twilight Sad touring America this spring.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.