The Twilight Sad self describe themselves as “folk with layers of noise”. Although that may be an incredibly accurate statement, it does not take into the account the raw emotion and subtle power in their music, which is brilliantly displayed in their fourth record, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave. This album is dark and twisted, but overall beautiful. As a first experience with this band for me, it will definitely not be the last.
With an opening of incredibly spacey guitar, a deep kick and effected snare, the listener is immediately drawn in. Then, layer James Graham’s voice and there’s no turning this song off. The distorted bass is also a very nice touch. It might be a controversial statement to some, but there is definitely a hint of Morrissey in his voice in the sense that there is raw emotion, a phrase that can’t be hammered enough with this band. The timbre, the depth, the imperfections with key, the spaceyness, the throwing of syllables, all perfect for the feel this band portrays.
The repetition of the line “She’s not coming back,” is honest, mature and terrifying. He says this over and over again, making the listener believe it and feel a similar pain to what one can imagine inspired this song. Another highlight on this album is the third song, ‘I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want’. First off, very clever song title. It’s, again, very honest. Instrumentally, this song is very cool. There is a consistency in sound, but an individuality with each song, which makes for an album that flows incredibly well, but has the perfect amount of similarity, consistency and variation. Beautifully spacey guitar, a simple yet powerful beat, and a bassline that is perfectly chaotic.
Another one of the many highlights is the title track. Instrumentally, this song is incredible. Its muddy, its chaotic, its droning, but perfect for the feel of the album. Again, an instrumental beginning, and then Graham’s beautiful vocals enter. Space, echoey, low register…all create this painting of a song. Overall, this album is amazing. It drags you in and does not let you leave without listening to every song and every consonant. It is most definitely “folk with layers of noise,” but purposeful noise and chaos. This is definitely a piece of music and art worth checking out.
Words: Drew Zieff