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Video of the Moment #2937: The Twilight Sad

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd April 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Around the start of this year, The Twilight Sad released their fifth album. ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’, the follow-up to 2014’s ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, followed Robert Smith’s endorsement of the Scottish band and some impressive slots supporting The Cure. The latest new promo video to be unveiled from the still relatively new long player is the nonsensically titled ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’, which guitarist Andy Macfarlane has admitted is a bit of a throwaway title chosen from an advertisement for the actor he happened to see flashing on his computer screen.

The song itself is about the negative feelings we have and negatives actions we take after a breakup. For the music video, the group went into another direction entirely. Frontman James Graham found old Super 8 reels from the ‘60s among his grandfather’s belongings; these reels were processed with colours, and the band projected them on the abandoned Govanhill Baths in Glasgow. The overall mixture of untouched film, processed film and the actual baths as they exist today combine for a disorientating experience that matches the glitchy art aesthetic the Twilight Sad were going for on the cover of ‘It Won/t Be Like…’ awfully well. Sonically, the visuals match the energetic song. Watch and listen to ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’ below. ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ is out now on fellow Scots Mogwai’s Rock Action Records. Catch up on all our past coverage on The Twilight Sad through this link.

 

Live Gig Video: The Twilight Sad perform single ‘VTr’ from upcoming fifth album and some other places

 
By on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

In case you’ve somehow missed this, Friday sees the release of The Twilight Sad‘s fifth album. The band have previewed several tracks from ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ as singles in their own right and in session, notably for Seattle’s KEXP during their North American tour in October, then BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway in December. In the official video for single ‘VTr’, the Scottish band rock out in what has become their characteristic sombre color tones. Then I thought, why the heck would I not post the BBC Scotland live session for the song, as well as KEXP’s full performance recording in all its glory? You can never have *too* much Twilight Sad, am I right? Enjoy all of the tuneage in visual form below.

Stay tuned for ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ to be released on Rock Action Records this very Friday, the 18th of January. The group will be making live appearances this week and next in record shops; actual full gigs in the UK will be taking place in Edinburgh (29th of January), Manchester (27th of February), London (28th of February) and Glasgow (2nd of March). Details of all their scheduled live appearances can be viewed on the band’s official Web site. All of our past coverage of The Twilight Sad, including my review of their autumn 2018 North American tour-closing gig in Washington, DC, can be read through here.

 

Live Review: The Twilight Sad at U Street Music Hall, Washington, DC – 3rd November 2018

 
By on Wednesday, 7th November 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

The closer we march to Christmas, the quicker the nights fall. On one of these chilly nights, The Twilight Sad descended on the Nation’s Capital to close out their 3-week North American tour with a bang. Despite the chill in the air outside, the basement venue U Street Music Hall played host to a sweaty mass of people eager to catch the Scottish post-punks before they returned home.

At first, I thought it was a strange thing to tour over here so far in advance of the release of their next album, which isn’t expected until early 2019. However, as the set progressed, standing among so many fans and their fervour, the thought evaporated. They were out here because of fan demand; their fanbase has undoubtedly increased since Robert Smith’s personal endorsement of the band and the Cure taking the band on tour with them. Frontman James Graham cracked a joke about us having nothing better to do on a Saturday night than see them but that they were awfully glad we turned up. Laughter ensued.

Since 2007 debut LP ‘Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters’, The Twilight Sad’s sound has morphed and evolved a few times, and the stage setup reflected this. A Macbook and two keyboards would have been unheard of at Twilight Sad shows a decade ago. With a massive back catalogue of tracks across four albums and a host of singles and EPs, there was plenty of material to choose from for their final set on this tour. The evening began with ‘There’s a Girl in the Corner’, its sombre tones opening ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, which was met with pretty much universal acclaim when unveiled in 2014.

The Twilight Sad 2018 3

Throughout the set, the band’s trademark distorted guitars and Graham’s cutting, emotional lyrics delivered in his unmistakable Scottish brogue. At times, he looked like a man possessed, spinning like a whirling dervish or even punching himself in the head or chest, all the while the band banged out the hard-hitting tunes. For the long-time fans, older gems like ‘The Wrong Car’ and ‘And She Would Darken the Memory’ that closed the set with a deafening crescendo recalled the days when The Twilight Sad were a best-kept secret. In contrast, newer songs including single ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’ and ‘Videograms’, whose glittery synths have been likened to that of The Cure’s, suggest the ushering in of a new era for the Scots, during which their music proves more accessible, is imminent. In the crowd, heads bopped, limbs flailed and words were sung along to.

Scottish indie music fans in the room Saturday night were waiting, quite possibly bracing themselves, too, for a particularly heart-wrenching moment that the band have repeated in their live shows over the last 6 months. Since his sad, untimely death by suicide in May, Scott Hutchison’s passing has been an apparition in our lives, a regular reminder of the fragility of humanity and the need for all of us to talk more, listen more and support our mates through difficult times. By playing ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ every night, The Twilight Sad pay tribute to their close friend Hutchison, a song true to form for so many of the songs he wrote, expressing the kinds of things adult men have been told not to say aloud or to others. Graham explained that they needed to move up the song’s placement in the set “for themselves”, presumedly so they could get past it the emotions and get back to the business of playing for us. In the audience, glasses were raised and tears were wiped away.

When it came time to say goodnight, Graham thanked the crowd again for coming to the show and that for sure, they’d be back in Washington in due time. And really, why would they stay away with a turnout like this? Stay tuned for The Twilight Sad’s fifth studio album ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’, which is expected to drop on the 18th of January 2019 on Rock Action Records.

 

Video of the Moment #2888: The Twilight Sad

 
By on Monday, 3rd September 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Earlier this summer, The Twilight Sad returned with the haunting single ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’. You can read my review of the Scots’ new track through this link. The song’s accompanying promo is a disorientating mix of VHS camcorder clips. It’s like the memories buried in our minds, the kind we can’t fully remember and all that’s left are fuzzy bits. In the context of the song, you are left to contemplate, is the reason why these memories are fuzzy because we don’t want to remember? Is it part of the self-loathing that we wish to forget? Food for thought. ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’ is now available from Mogwai’s label Rock Action Records. To catch all of TGTF’s past coverage on The Twilight Sad, use this link.

 

Single Review: The Twilight Sad – ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’

 
By on Thursday, 26th July 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

It has been a difficult few months for indie music fans following the shocking, untimely death of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison in May. As I’ve learned through Scottish friends in the industry and who knows who – which seems to be just about everyone to everyone else and back again – the musician community in Glasgow is remarkably close-knit. It is, then, unsurprising that his death would colour his friends The Twilight Sad’s latest release. Upon hearing ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’, it’s impossible to separate the inherent unease of the song from the sadness on the loss of Hutchison. A dissonant whine of guitars introduces the song before an insistent rhythm begins that plays throughout the whole song, accompanied by the drone of guitars. All together, the instrumentation set off a feeling of fretfulness even before James Graham utters a single word in his trademark Scots brogue.

As the song goes on, it’s unclear to the listener if he’s singing to another person, to himself and his own anxieties, or a combination of both. What is amply evident is the amount of self-loathing going round in Graham’s head. There’s so much that he vocalises it first as someone else being the problem (“I don’t wanna be around you anymore / I can’t stand to be around you anymore”) before turning the anxiety on himself and self-diagnosing himself as the problem (“you don’t wanna be around me anymore / I don’t wanna be around me anymore / you can’t stand to be around me anymore”). Graham has described the song being “about my ongoing battle with not liking myself, trying to be a good person but constantly feeling like I’m failing myself and everyone I care about.” To the questions “Will you stop if your tears come back?” and “Will you stop when your tears run dry?”, Graham responds, “I’ll drink everything inside”, internalising and hiding the pain that otherwise would be on show through the act of crying. Whose pain will he drink up? His own, or someone else’s? Like film noir, it’s all terribly intriguing.

I have a favourite line in the Margaret Atwood novel Cat’s Eye that reads, “Whoever cares the most will lose.” The greatest tragedy of caring is while you can be in touch with what you feel and what you desire and why, you end up turning it around on yourself and making the assumption that bad things have happened because of what you’ve done. The repeated “why do you do this to yourself?” as the song climaxes at its conclusion seems to support this. For a song so rooted in mental illness and the burying of that pain, it’s weird for it to be so oddly catchy. But it is. And it’s the kind of song that feels like it would be best heard live in Scotland. If you have been in Glasgow when it’s pouring down rain, you understand this.

8.5/10

‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’, the first new material from The Twilight Sad since 2014’s ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’ is out now on Mogwai’s label Rock Action Records. There’s talk of a new album from the group, which I imagine must be dropping some time this autumn, as they are already selling tickets to tours in North America (mid-October to early November) and the Continent (mid-November) and have two dates in the UK lined up following those tours, on the 27th of November at London Bush Hall and the 29th of November at Edinburgh Liquid Rooms. Seems strange that a Glaswegian show has been omitted, so I’d keep an eye out for one on their live schedule on their official Web site. Past Twilight Sad goodness is through here.

 

Live Gig Video: The Twilight Sad share live performance of ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’ from upcoming Oran Mor live album

 
By on Tuesday, 29th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

The next release from Scottish trio The Twilight Sad will be their live ‘The Oran Mor Sessions’ song collection. Just exactly as it sounds, the new release features songs from their 2014 album ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’, recorded live at the beautiful, legendary venue in Glasgow.

Last month, we shared with you this live gig video of James Graham, Andy MacFarlane and Mark Devine performing ‘It Was Never the Same’. Today, we have for you the latest reveal from the sessions, in the form of a reworked version of the album title track. Watch it below.

‘The Oran Mor Sessions’ will drop on the 16th of October on FatCat Records. Catch all of TGTF’s previous coverage on The Twilight Sad here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-R6V-ip784[/youtube]

 
 
 

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