Listen: The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know

Frontman James Graham guides DIY through the release, track by track.

We’ve already heard ‘Kill It In The Morning’, ‘Sick’ and ‘Another Bed’ but now you can hear the forthcoming Twilight Sad album ‘No One Can Ever Know’ in its entirety exclusively on DIY ahead of its release next week.

Citing influences such as Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Liars, ‘No One Can Ever Know’ sees the band collaborate with producer Andrew Weatherall, borrow vintage synths from Ben Hillier and track drums separately and somewhat synthetically.

Frontman James Graham guides DIY through the release track by track below.

1. Alphabet

’Alphabet’ was in the first batch of demos/songs that we’d written for the new album and we started playing it live quite soon after writing it. We spent more time debating the first track on the album more than anything else. Once we decided on ‘Alphabet’ the whole album tracklist fell into place. Our song structures are never straight forward and it’s always quite hard to tell what’s the chorus and what’s the verse, ‘Alphabet’ is one of the songs on the album which does have a big chorus ‘so sick to death of the sight of you know’. I think ‘Alphabet’ is a good introduction to our new album.

2. Dead City

’Dead City’ was one of the last songs we wrote for the album. I can’t wait to play it live, although it might kill me as it probably has the biggest choruses on the album and I have to scream a bit of a high note. Someone’s probably going to have to kick me square in the balls before we play it to reach that note, form an orderly queue… Andrew Weatherall turned to Mark on first hearing this song and said to him: ‘One of the best drum beats known to man’. It’s got a pretty driving bass line and one of the fastest songs on the album and has a certain Kraut Rock feel to it.

3. Sick

’Sick’ was again in the first batch of demos we made. I really like the demo version of this song. The album version is really close to it but Mark’s added drum loops and then live kit at the end of the song which lifted it to the next level. We’ll probably let people hear the demo at some point. Lyrically there’s a real flow and story to it, which like all of my lyrics I won’t be telling anyone about. In my eyes it was the perfect choice for the first single off the new album. Like many of the songs off the album it can be stripped back to just guitar and vocals and works really well.

4. Don’t Move
This was also in the first batch of demos. I thought it was going to be a slow-building song when we first wrote it but it completely changed for the better when Andy speeded it up and Mark added his drums. This is one of the songs where the vocals don’t really have a verse/chorus kind of structure. It’s more like a story revealing itself as song moves along. Again there’s a really prominent bass line like ‘Dead City’ and a repetitive synth line that kind of gets stuck in your head. ‘Don’t Move’ and ‘Don’t Look At Me’ are like a part one and part two of a story in the overall theme of the record.

5. Nil
All the songs we write are special to me, I wouldn’t write a song or a lyric if I didn’t have something important to me to write about. This song felt special as soon as I wrote my parts for it. Some songs come easier than others, and as soon as Andy sent me over the music, I wrote this in an afternoon. Sometimes I’ll write my melodies and Andy will move them around within the song to make a better song structure, but with this we stuck with the structure I originally came up with because it told the story of the song perfectly, in my honest opinion. We all thought this made a good centre piece for the album and set up the second half of the album really well. It’s a slow building song that picks up pace as it goes on.

6. Don’t Look At Me
This again was in the first batch of demos. We’ve played this live a couple of times. It’s all centred round the lyric ‘I still watch you’. It’s pretty synth-heavy and gets going instantly unlike ‘Nil’ before it. I don’t actually know what part is the chorus in this song as there are quite a few parts in this song which it could be. I’m reluctant to say it’s upbeat as this album isn’t what you would describe as upbeat. I think what I’m trying to say is that the synths are really bright and its maybe one of the more instant/faster songs on the album.

7. Not Sleeping

I’d put this song in the same category as ‘Nil’ and ‘Sick’, it’s a pretty heavy song in lyrical terms. The first and second verse has a repeated lyrical section which goes: ‘You left too early, now it’s over done. Now you’re only, two feet off the ground’, the only difference in the second verse being ‘only’ is swapped with ‘lonely’. This song again is a bit of a slow-burner but it contains some of my favourite lyrics from the album, another one being ’ be careful who your arms around’. This song was also part of the first batch of demos.

8. Another Bed
This song caused a lot of debate. It was actually the first song we wrote after the second album. When we went down to London we all had it in our heads that this would be a B-Side. Sometimes a song that you don’t think will be on the album turns into something completely different when you record it in the studio. For example ‘Reflection Of The Television’ and ‘Cold Days From The Birdhouse’ on previous albums both turned into different songs when we went into the studio. It’s probably the closest thing we’ve ever had to a proper single, although this album is meant to be listened to as a whole and ‘Another Bed’ is a chapter in the overall theme of the record. It’s strange how a song that wasn’t going to be on the album is now a single, that’s just the way things work out sometimes. I’m glad we decided to have it on the record.
9. Kill It In The Morning
This song is nothing like anything we’ve ever done before. It was in the same batch of demos as ‘Dead City’, I think. We released this as a download and was the first thing anybody heard from the album. We knew it would surprise people and if you didn’t give it repeat listens you might not get it. In the context of the album it’s a perfect way to finish it. Our past two albums have finished on quite slow songs, with this I think it goes out with a bang. The last thing you hear on the album is my dry vocal shouting/singing. I love playing this song live.


The Twilight Sad’s new album ‘No One Can Ever Know’ will be released on 6th February via Fatcat Records.