Song of the Day: The Twilight Sad - Last January

Song of the Day
01/05/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Nicola Collins

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Last January” by The Twilight Sad from the 2014 album Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave on FatCat Records.

The Twilight Sad - Last January (MP3)

Emerging in the mid-2000s as one of the leaders of a strain of sweeping, emotionally direct indie rock from Scotland, The Twilight Sad's unabashed penchant for melancholy and shoegaze/post-punk heft quickly established critical buzz on both sides of the Atlantic. Formed in late 2003, singer James Graham, guitarist Andy MacFarlane, bassist Craig Orzel, and drummer Mark Devine were signed by the UK indie label FatCat at the band's third-ever gig on the strength of their first demo. The band's debut album, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in April 2007, as was their sophomore effort, 2009's Forget The Night Ahead. Orzel departed in early 2010, and a lukewarm reception to the band's third album and a rough year in their personal lives led the remaining three members to refocus their efforts to produce a return to form in last year's Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave. On "Last January", the band switch out their once-trademark wall of noise for an echoing atmosphere. Graham's vocals patiently and solemnly waft through the track like a man walking through an empty house, leading the band to deflate, rather than erupt, in the choruses. Although it crystalizes many of the band's best characteristics, "Last January", and No One Wants To Be Here... as a whole, breathes new life into The Twilight Sad by stripping away their most abrasive qualities to dig even deeper into their gloomy resolve.

The Twilight Sad are embarking on a North American tour behind Nobody Wants To Be Here... in February/March, including a stop in Seattle at the Tractor Tavern on March 6th. Get tickets and more info on that 21+ show here, keep up with the band on their website and Facebook, and below, watch the official video for "Last January", another song from the latest album.

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