On 11th May 2007 at 16:34 Anonymous 4028 wrote...
this album has made me very happy it hurts.
By The Twilight Sad
Epic, intense, dramatic, cinematic... just a few words you might use to describe this Glasgow-based quartet's debut album. Yes, it might all sound too familiar where post-rock is concerned, but The Twilight Sad stumble upon new territory here. Honestly, they really do...
Though you might find some similarities with bands such as Mogwai, Sigur Ros or perhaps even Arab Strap (in a Scottish sense), what really separates Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters from your usual post-rock offerings is the great sense of tradition, purity and distinctive personality.
The strong Scottish vocals alternate from a spoken folk-like angle to angry emotive bursts, and when lead singer James Graham opens his mouth you're left with no choice but to believe him, such is the jaw-dropping amount of raw emotion displayed. The vocals are matched by some fantastic heart-felt song-writing, largely revolving around a much darker outlook on adolescence than you might have come to generally expect from the theme, and the use of traditional instruments (such as acoustic guitar, accordion and piano) only add more depth to these mightily impressive soundscapes.
The beautiful opener 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse' sets a high standard for this debut record, relying on a tapped single piano note, slide guitar, shimmering feedback and a vocal/lyrical combo tinged with melancholy. Such standards are upheld with songs such as the tale of negligence in 'That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy' and the brilliant 'I'm Taking The Train Home', but the most poignant song on the album is the hair-raising 'Mapped By What Surrounded Them' which features the stark line "these walls are filled with blades" and revolves around a young girl called Emily. The vocal melodies which meet those lyrics provide a listening experience that can only be described as emotionally exhausting.
Moving, enthralling and just hopelessly beautiful, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters is a strong contender for record of the year.