Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
by The Twilight Sad on FatCat RecordsReleased 04/05/2007
'Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters', is the Twilight Sad's debut album - an LP that more than lives up to the early promise of their critically acclaimed US-only 2006 EP. Epic in scope and equally as intense, the band are inspired by a diverse range of music from Van Dyke Parks to Phil Spector, Daniel Johnston, and beyond, although the band are as influenced by their immediate geography ('the sticks just outside Glasgow'), as they are any particular musical reference points. Recorded at Chem 19 and Ca Va studios, Glasgow, and mixed and produced by the band and Peter Katis (Interpol, Mercury Rev, Mice Parade) in Tarquin Studios, Connecticut, 'Fourteen Autumns...' is nevertheless liable to evoke a more familiar indie canon, from white-noise era Creation Records, to fellow Scots Arab Strap or Mogwai.
Yet The Twilight Sad are unmistakeably their own band, and 'Fourteen Autumns...' is a complete record, the nine tracks working together to create a strong narrative flow. Deceptively simple songs are rendered transcendent. Bleached, overdriven guitars consistently ride a line between ambient and coruscating, working in tandem with an articulate, at times tumultuous rhythm section, forever poised between tension and release. Augmented by piano and more frequently accordion, which provide the songs with a dramatic swoon, The Twilight Sad purvey an awestruck, ragged sentimentality. Lyrically suggestive and metaphorical, their songs give glimpses of bitter experience and romantic failure, their songs at times verging on the anthemic or celebrative, yet firmly rooted in the familiar, often unsaid hurt behind day to day events.
The Twilight Sad comprises James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane, (guitar/accordion/noise), Craig Orzel (bass), and Mark Devine (drums). Forming in late 2003, the band played a couple of early shows at Glasgow's 13th Note, creating half hour pieces of music utilising guitars, bass, drums, theremin, tape loops from films and old folk and country songs, effects pedals, toy keyboards, thumb pianos, computer games and various other ephemera. Subsequently they withdrew to the studio to refine their sound, rejecting any live shows offered, the band underwent a gradual metamorphosis into a more traditional, but still sonically adventurous outfit, with a more overt inclination towards emotive, eloquent song.