Today, Glasgow’s The Twilight Sad return with the latest single from their fifth full-length – and their first for their new label Rock Action Records – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time, which arrives on 18th January 2019. This time around it’s the driving, motorik ‘VTr’ getting an airing, a propulsive number that the band describe as being one of the album’s “most important” moments.
Speaking of the track, frontman James Alexander Graham says: “Andy [MacFarlane, guitarist] called the song VTr at the demo stage of writing and we decided to stick with that when it came time to decide on track titles. After the album had been finished and all the songs had been named, as I was walking my wife into the hospital as she was going into labour with our son, I looked down at the pavement and spray painted there was “VTR”.” I think the line “there’s no love to small” is one of the most hopeful I’ve ever written – seeing that song title on the ground as I was entering the hospital to have the most life-affirming moment in my life blew my mind. That line came into my head one dark day as all I could see was bad news all around me and all I needed was a bit of good news or compassion to get me through the day no matter how small. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it so the lines “I won’t be surprised if it kills us all” came soon after.”
MacFarlane delves deeper into the song’s origins, offering, “Scott [Hutchison] had asked if we could work together on a song and when I was trying to find a starting point he had been talking about how he “could listen to Brian Eno talk shite all day”. So, I took ‘The Big Ship’ from Another Green World, put sections of it in a sampler and made up some loops so I could play along to it on the guitar, and developed the melodies and chords from there. I had been saving from a previous demo that by chance seemed to fit over the chords without doing much to them, so it was kind of a happy accident how that came together.”
While the 11 tracks that comprise IWBLTATT largely began to take form during the band’s lengthy recent tours with The Cure, it wasn’t until returning to the UK and the isolation of his London home, that MacFarlane distilled the band’s collective aspirations – to find immediacy in their writing, to bring a new hugeness to the often dark matter of their songs – into demos for their fifth LP. Following six months of pre-production, his vision was made flesh during a productive residency in a remote rehearsal space on Loch Fyne last November. Eager to keep momentum, the band subsequently tracked their efforts at Devon’s Middle Farm Studios with long serving live engineer Andy Bush in January of this year.
For this record, Graham and MacFarlane officially brought long-time touring members Brendan Smith (The Blue Nile, The Unwinding Hours) and Johnny Docherty (Take a Worm For a Walk Week, RUNGS) in from the wings to help push The Twilight Sad to the next level. The results speak for themselves: an exhilarating listen, by turns cinematic and claustrophobic in its scope, the band dug deep to produce It Won’t Be Like This All the Time, and it’s perhaps their most raw and dynamic record to date.
“It’s a dark record but I think there are some uplifting moments to be had too,” Graham offers. “There are so many extremes here – there are moments that are harsh, then others that are quite melodic and others that are stripped right down. This album definitely comes with the extremes of every side of the band, I think. There’s a certain direct openness and candour now but at the same time I want to keep some mystery. We don’t like to throw things in people’s faces and spell it out for them.”
Check out The Twilight Sad’s website to find out more!