The Scottish band, Twilight Sad, has a penchant for making melancholy rock HARD; yet, for Òran Mór Session the trio put aside their layers of hard hitting instruments to breathe a new, calmer life into their older songs.
For Blurt Magazine:
Label: Fat Cat Records
Release Date: October 16, 2015
The Upshot: Haunting lyrics that are pronounced and poignant for songs even more somber, the live album features stripped down versions of previously recorded material originally released as a limited edition.
Originally recorded and self-released in limited number in 2014 while on tour for fourth release, Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave, this live album features stripped down versions of previously recorded tracks. Known for their wall of sound filled with overdriven guitar and saturated synths, Òran Mór Session is a sonic departure for The Twilight Sad. With just guitarist Andy MacFarlane on either an acoustic or a clean electric guitar singer James Graham’s distinctive vocals are in the foreground. No longer sandwiched between the usual melancholic and dark wall of sound from past albums, the haunting lyrics are even more pronounced and poignant and the songs even more somber.
Performed on guitar, mostly via picking, variety is lacking on Òran Mór. Graham’s strong vocals makes tracks like “It Never Was The Same,” “I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want” stand out for it’s great melody. “Leave The House” and “The Airport” introduce the lovely addition of a piano while last track “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face,” an Arthur Russell cover, features just an organ. As so few acoustic instruments joined each song, placing them all together lends a flattened feel to the LP. That is not to say the songs are not worthy of several listens, Òran Mór Session displays Twilight Sad’s great lyricism and Graham’s impassioned voice.
DOWNLOAD: “It Never Was The Same,” “The Airport,” “Drown So I Can Watch”
Watch one of the Òran Mór Session videos here, “Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave” performed live.