Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

I've been listening to The Twilight Sad for nearly ten years, and I still don't feel like I know their albums that well. I love their albums, but they're so dense and difficult that I've found that I've never really broken my way into any of them. That's not a criticism; in fact I think it's actually a part of their charm. I've seen them play this album in full, and I still don't feel I know it that well.

I was introduced to the band by my old housemate Nicky, but then bought the Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did EP which contained reworked versions of nearly half these songs. I then bought the limited Killed My Parents and Hit the Road cd, which featured live versions of some of these songs (and a cover of Modern Romance by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which works incredibly well). I eventually got the album on a trip to Avalance Records in Edinburgh the Monday after a stag weekend. Despite knowing versions of a lot of the songs, I was still treated to a heavy wall of dense sound; at times both welcoming and unwelcoming. There are a couple of definite highlights, but I can never really remember which songs they actually are. Looking at the lyrics online, I think Cold Days From the Birdhouse and Mapped By What Surrounded Them are the ones I always really look forward to on this album.

The first time I saw the band was quite an experience - they were supporting Mogwai in Brixton Academy and the singer paced the stage side-on to the crowd the whole time, almost entranced by his own microphone. I thought they were great; Sarah was unimpressed and has never become a fan. I think there's something about their particular style of shoegaze that people either love or hate.

In 2014, the debut album was reissued on vinyl for Record Store Day, along with a bonus disc of demos from the time. I'd bought the first two albums on cd for some reason, so was pleased to get this one on vinyl, and the demos were a great addition. That was my first RSD at Truck Store, having moved to Oxford a week beforehand, and it was a particularly strong year - there were a bunch of must-haves and this was definitely one of them for a lot of people.

The package is nice, with the second LP in a separate sleeve kept together in a plastic wallet and with an appropriately stripped down version of the artwork. The songs all have obtuse titles, much like on the split demo cassette with Frightened Rabbit from three years beforehand. They're great to hear and most of these demos are non-album songs, which is nice. Untitled #4 and 2d are particularly good songs.

Format: Double 12", two sleeves, picture sleeve, 24"x24" poster
Tracks: 17
Cost: £27 new
Bought: Truck Store, Oxford
When: 19/04/14
Colour: Black
Etching: none
mp3s: Download code