Before writing this week’s album review, I listened to a few different albums that came out this week. None of them were Taylor Swift’s new full-length, 1989. I just cannot bring myself to that. After listening to new albums by artists I know and others I have never heard of, this week’s album most deserving of a review is Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave by The Twilight Sad.
The Twilight Sad is an atrocity of a band name. As soon as I read it, I imagined this would be a band that sounds like Hawthorne Heights with vocals by actor Robert Pattinson. Thankfully, The Twilight Sad sound nothing like this after all.
Instead, The Twilight Sad is an atmospheric indie rock band with a decade of experience. Hailing from Scotland, they sound as if they have an appreciation for American bands such as Brand New and Interpol.
Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave is one of my more pleasurable accidental listens of this fall. Opening track “There’s a Girl in the Corner” sets the tone for the entire album in a way that I have not heard in a rock album since the song “Vices” on Brand New’s 2009 release Daisy.
The entire album is dark and contemplative, and sounds as if it would be listened to at twilight. However, it sounds a bit more listless and gloomy than “sad”.
Perhaps the only song that outplays the opener is the second track, “Last January”, a song that reminds the listener of a modernized version of indie music icon Joy Division. Dissonant guitar strokes slowly bleed into the sound of a prominent bass line in a fashion that most indie bands neglect to utilize on “Last January”. Singer vocalist James Graham croons with great control “And they say, it can’t be won/when it’s your eyes/touching my eyes.”
At first, listeners must adjust themselves to Graham’s thick accent. It is well worth the reward. Graham’s vocals are quite impressive, and carry the album in its down-tempo moments.
After multiple listens, Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave is an album that does not drag at any point. With that said, the opening two tracks remain the standouts in a thoughtfully constructed, atmospheric rock soundscape.
In naming their album, the Twilight Sad did better than they did when naming their band. Listeners will not envy traveling to the dark places that the album signifies. They will not want to leave, though, as the album is executed with a beauty that is more joyous than sad.
Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave will be praised as one of the better rock albums of the final quarter of 2014.