Thursday, December 23, 2010

EP Review: The Twilight Sad – Here It Never Snowed, Afterwards It Did

This was a stop-gap EP put out in 2008 featuring reworked versions of songs off The Twilight Sad’s debut album. What they have done here is given the rhythm section some time off and cranked up the My-Bloody-Valentine-at-their-most-spacey influence to produce much more atmospheric, droning versions, which really suit dark wintry evenings. So the guitars and drums are downplayed and replaced by organ, glockenspiel and a load of fuzz.

The production is really good on this one, with bells, violins and cymbals and gorgeous strings on And She Would Darken The Memory all giving added frostbite type effects. Singer James Graham should not be forgotten here either. On Cold Days From The Birdhouse he is in fine voice, rolling his ‘r’s deliciously, bellowing out lyrrrics like “and your rrred sky at night won’t follow me now”.

The title track was written with this format in mind, with some pathos-inducing organ keeping it in a similar mould to what has gone before, and lyrics like “are your hands cold, cos your fingers feel like snow”. It can be a bit same-y, Mapped By What Surrounded Them is almost pure MBV underwater-style backing track, with James Graham singing over the top which has the feel of two disparate parts being grafted on to each other. However none of the songs outstay their welcomes.

Walking for Two Hours even features sleigh bells and the Daniel Johnston cover Some Things Last A Long Time features accordion. It’s a bit of diversification from The Twilight Sad and shows they can turn their hand to something else, apart from the noisy stadium rockers of their main albums.