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Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | Rock Action Records

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Less secretive since they opened for The Cure, The Twilight Sad adopt the same strategy on record. Moving from FatCat to Mogwaï’s label Rock Action, the Scots allow themselves some synth-pop openings, like on Let's Get Lost or Videograms. They show their difference whilst maintaining their usual post-punk coldness. Whether it's the howling metallic guitar, the well-supported rhythm section, their ice-cold (The Arbor) or delicate (SundayDay13) keyboards, James Graham's band builds sound constructions that are full, hollow, bright or shaded. Salutary contradictions that bring relief and substance to the work transform the traditional austere post-punk sound into grandiloquent melodic progressions. The more discreet bass finds the right balance (Girl Chewing Gum) while James Graham's stamp takes us back to the young Morrissey – just with more rolling of ‘r’s. All of this pushed Robert Smith to say, "If the world was a better place they would be playing for more people, and I think they can.” © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 27, 2014 | FatCat

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 5, 2018 | Rock Action Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 10, 2018 | Rock Action Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2014 | FatCat Records

The Twilight Sad are one of the more conventional-sounding bands on Fat Cat -- that is, if cathartic, widescreen rock augmented by accordions and melodies rooted in Scottish folk can be called conventional. Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters expands on the searing, earnest sound of the band's self-titled EP; indeed, several of the Twilight Sad's best songs are also highlights here. "That Summer, at Home I Became the Invisible Boy" just might be the band's definitive song: guitars shimmer and build up into poetic squalls; James Graham's appealingly thick Scottish burr imbues lyrics like "Kids are on fire in the bedroom" with tenderness; Mark Devine's powerful but nuanced drumming cuts a swath through the melody but doesn't overpower it; and accordions add an unexpected, homespun warmth. "And She Would Darken the Memory" is another standout that underscores the similarity between the Twilight Sad's sound and the luminously anthemic side of the Walkmen or Interpol. However, the Twilight Sad have a more free-flowing approach than either of those bands, especially on the stunning "Talking with Fireworks/Here, It Never Snowed," which comes in like a lion with torrents of drums and guitars, and goes out like a lamb with a sparkling, hypnotic guitar melody. "Last Year's Rain Didn't Fall So Hard" is a gorgeous glimpse of a song that fades in and out, suggesting that it goes on forever, a feeling echoed by the instrumental title track, which closes the album with more of the wonderful atmosphere that makes the rest of Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters accessible, but ultimately far from conventional. The density of the Twilight Sad's sound evokes wide open spaces, yet the louder they are, the more intimate they sound -- these kinds of paradoxes make this album a powerful debut. ~ Heather Phares
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Pop/Rock - Released October 5, 2009 | FatCat Records

Though the Twilight Sad's debut, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, and its follow-up, Forget the Night Ahead, were released only two years apart, it feels like more time than that elapsed in the band's evolution. Granted, the band kept busy during that time, releasing the EP Here, It Never Snowed, Afterwards It Did and the compilation album Killed My Parents and Hit the Road and touring with acts like Mogwai. Just how important that activity was to this album becomes apparent quickly: one of the songs collected on Killed My Parents and Hit the Road was the band's cover of the Smiths' "Half a Person," and Forget the Night Ahead's lead track, "Reflection of the Television," with its dense guitars and James Graham's sullen croon, sounds uncannily like a collaboration between Morrissey and Mogwai. While those elements have always been present in the Twilight Sad's music, they've never been so clear; indeed, one of the most notable things about the album is just how much clearer the band's sound is here than it was on Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. Here, a heavier, denser attack replaces that album's atmospheric drift; these songs are as moody as ever, but muscular -- the guitar roar on "I Became a Prostitute" and "That Birthday Present" recalls Shellac as much as it does My Bloody Valentine or the Twilight Sad's other cited influences. The band's writing is also more direct, giving the album a blunter feel, but the emotions swirling in these songs are still complex. Regret, revenge, and reassurance mingle in Graham's voice when he sings "You and I will bury them all" on "Interrupted" or "Blood is never spilled after dinner" on "The Room." The delicacy and epic sweep of the Twilight Sad's first album is missed occasionally on Forget the Night Ahead, but the progress they've made is fascinating -- and rewarding -- to hear. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 6, 2012 | FatCat Records

The Twilight Sad's sweeping, Wall of Sound style seemed to be as inherent to the band's music as James Graham's unmistakable, burr-heavy vocals. However, on No One Can Ever Know, they deliver a set of songs inspired by Liars, Cabaret Voltaire, Autechre, and Public Image Ltd -- all artists with a hard-edged sound almost the exact opposite of the band's previous territory. The band drafted Two Lone Swordsmen's Andrew Weatherall to help them pull off this change, and given how later TLS albums drifted toward rock and industrial leanings, he was the right man for the job. The spooky backing vocals on "Not Sleeping" are very Drum's Not Dead-era Liars, while the keyboards that replace the band's shimmering guitars, and the clanking industrial percussion that ghosts many of the drumbeats here manage to feel natural even if they're very different than what came before. Philosophically, the bands that influenced No One Can Ever Know's sound are kindred spirits to the Twilight Sad's bleakness, though Graham and company express themselves far more earnestly than most of those acts. Without the lush sound that softened their edges and leavened their black-on-black moods, the band sounds more desolate and desperate than ever; fittingly, this album trades in suppressed and repressed secrets and memories, and worst fears being realized. "Don't Look at Me" decries growing old alone, while the album ends with "Kill It in the Morning," a dark grind that leaves listeners no reprieve. The Twilight Sad are still at their best when there's something soaring in their music to at least hint at some hope, as on "Dead City" and "Nil," where synth strings add a little cover to Graham's almost unbearably naked vocals. No One Can Ever Know reaffirms that the Twilight Sad are unafraid of challenging themselves or their listeners, and for better or worse, there's something admirable about that uncompromising attitude. ~ Heather Phares
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Rock - Released December 15, 2008 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 8, 2008 | FatCat Records

Inspired by some stripped-down live sets they played, the Twilight Sad get radically gentle on Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did. Atmosphere was already one of the strong suits of their debut album, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, but the Twilight Sad master it on this EP, making these versions of songs from that album strikingly different from, but just as powerful as, the originals. The mammoth drums and searing guitars that made Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters such a visceral listen are largely replaced by fan organ, glockenspiel, and percussion, and while the results don't sound "unplugged," exactly, they have a unique purity. "Cold Days from the Birdhouse" drifts in on strings and frosty percussion, emphasizing the intimate, homespun feel that previously lurked around the edges of the Twilight Sad's music. On the other hand, "And She Would Darken the Memory" is vast, layering dully roaring guitars that sound like distant jet engines into a ghostly epic. Fittingly enough given its name, Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did radiates wintry beauty, whether it's the sleigh bells that drive "Walking for Two Hours" or the hypnotically chilly melody of the title track (and lone new song), which only makes James Graham's thick Scottish burr sound warmer and more vulnerable by contrast. The EP's finest moment, however, might be the cover of Daniel Johnston's "Some Things Last a Long Time," where the fan organ underscores the hymnal quality of the song's yearning. Though Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did offers a change of pace as well as potential directions for the Twilight Sad, it shares the same mix of catharsis and comfort -- not to mention disturbing cover artwork -- that graces all of the band's music, and presents it at its melancholy finest. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2014 | 130701 (FatCat Records)

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 15, 2015 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2014 | FatCat Records

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Electro - Released November 26, 2012 | FatCat

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2010 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 13, 2018 | Rock Action Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2015 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2011 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2010 | FatCat Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 18, 2007 | FatCat Records

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The Twilight Sad in the magazine
  • Highland Punk
    Highland Punk The Twilight Sad's IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!