The Twilight Sad - Òran Mór Session

Following on from their critically acclaimed fourth album, Nobody Wants To Be Here, and Nobody Wants To Leave, post-punk Scottish shoegazers The Twilight Sad return with a new(ish) release. Originally released as an EP, the extended album Òran Mór Sessions was recorded in Glasgow’s auditorium of the same name and reworks tracks from Nobody…, and b-sides, and the results are an interesting experiment and demonstration of the group’s songwriting ability.

Where Nobody… with its smatterings of influences from late-80s The Cure to the wall of sound of bands, such as Explosions in The Sky, soundtracks a night drive through the city. Òran Mór Sessions has a distinctly more rural and autumnal feel – the musical equivalent of kicking through dried leaves and the remnants of a bonfire. When interviewed in 2009, they said “We're not a scenestery band, and yet we're not a pure experimental band either. Obviously we're noisy and stuff, but we write proper songs as well.” – Òran Mór Sessions is proof positive of this, stripped down to its core elements each track has new life breathed into it, from vocalist James Gordon’s distinctive thick Scottish accent to guitarist Andy MacFarlane delicate guitar work – the overall feel of the album draws comparisons to fellow Scots Arab Strap, and, Tyne & Wear folk group The Unthanks. It also calls to mind the stripped-down versions of fellow Scottish noise terrorists The Jesus and Mary Chain and their acoustic Peel Sessions.

Standouts include the galloping insistence of 'Nobody Wants To Be Here...', the mournful 'I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want', and the sparse but beautiful layered piano and guitar interplay of 'Leave The House'. It is an interesting addition to the band’s discography that will offer something for existing completest fans, and those new to the band.

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The bleak and the beautiful – get the bonfire started.


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