For record three Twilight Sad decided to get out of their comfort zone. With Andrew Weatherall providing artistic guidance and the band taking inspiration from acts such as Autechre and Liars, ‘No One Can Ever Know’ sees the band exploring a more electronic, motorik sound.
It’s one that suits them perfectly. The ‘wall of sound’ approach and booming drums which characterised their first two albums has been replaced by programmed beats and gloomy grooves - and the pace has been upped for this synth heavy sound.
You may have already heard lead single and Radiohead-sounding ‘Sick’, as well as ‘Kill It In The Morning’, which both hint at the new direction they’ve moved into. ‘Dead City’s’ nonchalant though ominous groove is another highlight, sonically reminiscent of XTMR-era Primal Scream, while ‘Don’t Look at Me’ keeps the propulsive beats going. The record’s 9 tracks make for a stark, taut and sparser sound though it is ‘Another Bed’ - with its glittering synths almost dancey rhythms and shimmering swooshes – which is the biggest departure from their trademark sound. It sounds almost 80s.
Yet for all their sonic experiments this is still unmistakably a Twilight Sad record. That’s in no small part down to James Graham’s ominous and distinct Scottish tones that stalk every song. His lyrics have always been at the heart of what make Twilight Sad special and here he is on form – on ‘Another Bed’ he promises “I’ll find you – don’t worry”, on ‘Don’t Look At Me’ he sings “Though I still you want you, it’s not the right thing to do”, while on ‘Don’t Move’ he warns “I will hurt you more than you will ever know”. If this is a love letter, it’s a stark and menacing one. Yet, in his own claustrophobic way he creates lines that you want to sing along to despite yourself, a masochistic karaoke.
It’s this combination of the familiar and the new which makes ‘No One Can Ever Know’ a synthesised and sinister success - a tense and absorbing record that creates its own world for you to live in.
More like this
Even more intense.
The band are gearing up to help Latitude celebrate its tenth birthday.
Following the release of their last album, The Twilight Sad found themselves in a rut - but it’s one they’ve quickly overcome.
The Scots’ most complete album yet.