“Scottish band who enjoy drinking and making miserable music” reads the twitter bio The Twilight Sad, and it must be said that their fourth studio album Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave perfectly compliments the description that the band provides for themselves.
Loss and heartbreak are just some of the themes explored through the lyrics and also the music, which set the scene of a come-down from a drunken night, when emotions are at their height.
Opening track ‘There’s A Girl in the Corner’ does not hold back with introducing these themes, as it commences with the lyrics “you’re not coming back” repeated several times, heavy, heartbeat-like drums are prominent adding intensity and ensuring a striking opening to the record.
Glancing at the track titles, it is clear to see the dark twist is carried throughout; ‘Pills I Swallow’, ‘Drown So I Can Watch’, ‘It Was Never The Same’, but what else would be expected from The Twilight Sad other than the shockingly gloomy.
Listening to this album is like being provided an in depth look in frontman James Graham’s diary, while the music enhances the depth and power of the words.
Like previous releases there are tracks that will be stunning performed live, for example ‘Leave the House’ and ‘I Could Give You All You Want’ demonstrate the band’s ability to transition between quiet, delicate sounds to forceful, loud ones that has always been enhanced live by The Twilight Sad.
Concluding the album is ‘Sometimes I Wished I Could Sleep’ and quite an ending it provides, it is in contrast to the rest of the album musically, as it includes minimal musical accompaniment, with piano being the only instrument alongside the soft, tranquil and echoing vocals.
The track is haunting, with lyrics “you don’t want me anymore’” repeated throughout, and perfectly portrays the loneliness of the aftermath of love following and ended relationship, demonstrating that The Twilight Sad have no limits when it comes to exposing raw and deep emotions through their songs.
There is an important distinction which must be made however, and that is; although the general theme of the album may be perceived as ‘miserable’, the tracks do not pass on this feeling to the listener, instead, it is a thought-provoking album which explores complex and difficult emotions and it is rare that modern bands can pull off ‘miserable music’ without it coming across as forced and pretentious, or are brave enough to delve as deeply into these emotions as The Twilight Sad do so successfully and powerfully.
Words: Orla Brady