As made clear already by widely-spread preview track “Kill It In The Morning” (dubbed “slightly evil-sounding” by Pitchfork) and first single “Sick” (which, according to Stereogum “ticks with post-Radiohead guitar and dread”) The Twilight Sad’s third full-length, No One Can Ever Know, marks a sonic shift for the band.
Freshly inspired by a listening diet of Cabaret Voltaire, Can, Liars, Magazine, Autechre, and Public Image Limited, The Twilight Sad turn to a dark, synth-heavy sound for No One Can Ever Know; the resulting LP shares thematic and sonic space with the most innovative offerings from Depeche Mode, The Cure, or even Nine Inch Nails.
“We wanted to be a lot more spontaneous, get outside our comfort zone – not to fall back into repeating what we’ve done previously,” explains guitarist Andy MacFarlane. “So we moved to London for a month to record at The Pool and got Andrew Weatherall (Primal Scream, Two Lone Swordsmen, Fuck Buttons) involved to bounce ideas off and to generally reassure us of the direction we were already progressing in – toward a sparser sound, with a colder, slightly militant feel.”
Under the guidance of Weatherall the band experimented with vintage analog synths – borrowed from producer Ben Hillier – to work on the core sounds they wanted, finding further inspiration in the distinctive production style of innovators like Factory Records’ Martin Hannett and Cluster‘s Conny Plank.
Throughout the record, the band move away from the “wall of sound” effect typifying previous recordings, while lyrically, No One Can Ever Know finds singer James Graham – his vocals having grown only richer and more accomplished – in characteristically ominous form, delivering lightning bolts of malevolent threat.
The Twilight Sad will be touring the US widely in support of No One Can Ever Know, including SXSW 2012.
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
Lyrics/vocals: James Alexander Graham
Music/guitars: Andy MacFarlane
Drums/programming: Mark Devine
Produced by The Twilight Sad
Anti-produced by Andrew Weatherall
Engineering, mixing, and additional production: Jim Anderson
Recorded & mixed in London, January-March 2011
Don’t Look At Me
Kill It In The Morning