Sad Reminders

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#1 11-09-2010 7:46am

lazyrain
Member
From: UK
Registered: 11-04-2010
Posts: 13

The Twilight Sad

This is one of three bands I thought I'd bring up for recommendation/discussion. I've put 'em in separate threads as they're unrelated. Posting these as I think the bands might be appreciated by RHP fans:

The Twilight Sad: Sounds like rain.... They're sort of shoegaze-y indie rock. Less mellow than RHP but I think there are some similarities in a way.

When asked to describe their debut album, [vocalist James] Graham says the band likes to see their songs as "folk with layers of noise," as they are based on experiences that have happened to them, around their hometowns or people they know. They often cite the works of Daniel Johnston, Serge Gainsbourg, Phil Spector, Arab Strap, and Leonard Cohen as influences.

Where the band's recorded sound is layered with many melodies, their live sound is a more intense experience with a more visceral wall of noise, something the band wanted to do all along. Graham stated, "We like having the contrast between the record and playing live. There are a lot more instruments on the record. There's only four of us in the band, so we have to keep it as simple as possible. I don't know about you, but I don't like going to see a band that sounds just like their album. That's what we try not to do."

The Twilight Sad - I'm Taking The Train Home

The Twilight Sad - I Became A Prostitue Acoustic (this one is more chilled out)


Letting in the sunshine...

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#2 11-09-2010 2:41pm

seven1082000
Member
Registered: 05-24-2010
Posts: 27

Re: The Twilight Sad

I like them well enough. They make kinda generic sounding music but it's in a genre I like so I've checked them out. Even saw them live once. Enjoyable but forgettable would be my opinion. I guess I see some similarities between them and RHP, but not alot.

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#3 11-10-2010 8:32am

Gurkov
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 01-07-2005
Posts: 421

Re: The Twilight Sad

I knew I'd written something about them before. Found it:

"i like the fact that the twilight sad used a stand by me (the movie, that is) quote for a song title. but that mix of arab strap and coldplay gets a bit dull in the end..."

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#4 11-10-2010 7:21pm

lazyrain
Member
From: UK
Registered: 11-04-2010
Posts: 13

Re: The Twilight Sad

They're a lot more... 'rocked up' than RHP but I'd be surprised if they weren't fans. I think I see a similarity in that both The TS and RHP sort of create soundscapes rather than pop songs to evoke feeling in the listener. Where RHP might use layers of fingerpicking to melt into the lyrics, for instance, The Twilight Sad might layer waves of distortion. I love them live, seems like they're really into what they're doing. Would you describe that genre as shoegaze seven1082000 or as something else?

"That Summer..." is one of my favourite TS songs. Last time I saw 'em live it was introduced along the lines of 'the title of this song is far too long so I'm not going to say it.' A review of the album when it came out made reference to that reference; "instead of telling us their story about a fat kid named Vern and a dead kid name Ray Brower, the Twilight Sad deliver a tale of about the clash of everyday disappointments and affirmations. And they prove convincingly that a row of effects pedals and an accordion make for better storytellers than Richard Dreyfuss."

I personally don't hear either Arab Strap or Coldplay in The Twilight Sad, although I've only heard a couple of singles by the latter of those two.


Letting in the sunshine...

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#5 11-11-2010 3:47am

Gurkov
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 01-07-2005
Posts: 421

Re: The Twilight Sad

I personally don't hear either Arab Strap or Coldplay in The Twilight Sad, although I've only heard a couple of singles by the latter of those two.

I guess I wasn't too serious, but if you put the two of 'em in blender they might really come out as The Twilight Sad. Pompous, manly shoegaze. wink

Some good songs, but saying they tell better stories than Stand By Me is blasphemy. I love that sentimental old flick! smile

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#6 11-11-2010 8:18pm

lazyrain
Member
From: UK
Registered: 11-04-2010
Posts: 13

Re: The Twilight Sad

I guess pompous from coldplay and manly from Arab Strap? I think my idea of pompous manly shoegaze is like... Jesus and Mary Chain. Or maybe Glasvegas. I Suppose the big drums and all the guitars might give that impression? For me the sound is almost confusion, disonant yet harmonious it goes along with the writing voice where the narrator deconstructs their own identity even as they relate this tale or describe what they're seeing, there's a perspective there or maybe mulitple perspectives but they're laced with uncertainty, not in a cliched sense but something which is reflective of the growth the songs' narratives are often concerned with.

There's this lack of self assurance running throughout a lot of the songs, a sort of honesty which sweeps them away from any sense of vanity or ostentation for me, often exposing the character of the narrator as being flawed. going back to your earlier point, I think there's an Arab Strap similarity right there. There are some songs which seem to be concerned with... relationships for example, where the part of the narrator is very much the masculine but with a self awareness similar to that found in Arab Strap songs. The story is being told by this writing voice which knowingly exposes itself by showing the events from their perspective. This sort of... exposition in a sense reveals defects in the narrator's character and knowingly displaying them to the audience is a sort of admission. Sort of like 'this is how I see things, but I'm looking at them from a biased or flawed perspective.' Such admissions are rarely found in the overly virile music of the aforementioned bands, what I would call the pompous manly shoegazers. For instance the lyrical delivery, shouting is used in a number of the tracks, something which in many genres is used as a sort of masculine chest beating where pretentious or vain lyrics may be blasted out, here it seems to be used with a sense of desperation or honesty, those things which are being shouted far from making the writer seem impressive or manly are often delicate admissions or frantic and hopeless questions. 

In a sense I think that the candidness of the lyrics shows another (slight) similarty to RHP with certain songs, like maybe 'Medicine Bottle', where the narrator is telling the story through an external perspective of themselves. It's a different method with perhaps a similar effect. Where in 'Medicine Bottle' the narrator is overtly describing their flaws from a third person point of view in a TS like 'And She Would Darken The Memory' the writer is showing us the story from their perspective but the ugliness of that perspective is laid out for us to see.

With regards to the Stand By Me movie... I'd say it's better than Stephen King's novella, he has a way of using to many words to say a simple thing (like I can talk) I like the film, it's certainly sentimental but without being too corny. The Twilight Sad's method of storytelling... well it's sort of like catching a few lines from a argument during a thunderstorm, you can't really compare the two. I think the point of that quote though, is more directed at Richard Dreyfuss than the entire film lol

I can see where it could become too much of one thing. I wasn't a huge fan of the last album for similar reasons. I would  certainly recommend the EP 'Here It Never Snowed, Afterwards It Did.' The stripped down versions of some earlier songs included on there definitely afford them more personality than the debut album allows. It's the record which caused me to fall in love with the band and remains my favourite of their releases. A review in TinyMixTapes highlighted the difference between the debut album which 'was little more than misplaced nu-teenage angst delivered fresh from the oven by belter James Graham. Graham’s histrionics and over-emoting was the iceberg that sank the already teetering ship that was Fifteen Winters' and the follow-up EP which finds 'a new Twilight Sad, concerned less with howling and sobbing and more with bristling tension and complexity making a record that is equal parts moving and stately, without becoming ridiculous (something these guys have been guilty of before) or wooden (unlikely).


Letting in the sunshine...

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#7 11-17-2010 2:54am

Cruiser
Member
From: Northern Ireland
Registered: 11-05-2003
Posts: 410
Website

Re: The Twilight Sad

i've been following them for a few years now. their early material was fantastic esp. the first album, JG vocals are punchy and the songs dark. had huge hopes for the second album but think they overdid the whole fuzz and shoegaze, drowning out the vocals. it has its moments though. they are moving in a new direction for the new album so that should be interesting.

never seen them live but from youtube clips etc it looks like a distortion fest, not sure if i'd like it or not. i like it better when they do unplugged sets, there are quite a few around

they definitely live up to their name, one of the best bands making sad music. i'd recommend them to anyone smile


# there's an angel by the ocean, I miss... #

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