The Twilight Sad - "Cold Days from the Birdhouse"
garnered excellent reviews. Singer James Graham's thick Scottish accent is the first thing a listener will notice upon their initial exposure to the Twilight Sad and his vocals go a long way towards defining the band's sound. "Cold Days from the Birdhouse" is the opening track on their debut LP and is a definite builder. This song serves as a fine introduction to the album and sets the stage perfectly for the second, and probably strongest track, "That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy". This band has been likened to a Scottish Arcade Fire and while this is an obvious touchstone in a post-Funeral indie atmosphere, it is also a somewhat accurate, albeit lazy comparison. Though the two bands sound virtually nothing alike, these Scots have a knack for nailing a similar brand of anthemic, emotional and dramatic indie-rock as the one that helped make the Arcade Fire a favorite among the indie set. This track creeps in slowly with distant piano twinkles and tasteful touches of slide guitar before Graham begins crooning in his unmistakable accent. Eventually the song crescendos with wall of distorted electric guitar, pounding drums, and Graham's impassioned wail. There are similar moments of high drama throughout Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, as this album has no shortage of mini-epics.
After spending about a month and half with this album, I keep coming back to that damn accent. It almost gives this band an unfair advantage. I'm a huge sucker for rock songs by foreign bands who sing in their native tongue without trying to guise their regional dialect. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Bands like these guys and the Futureheads, for example, have an added exotic flare for us Yanks because of their respective singers' thick accents. It's interesting how in the past singers desperately tried (or would be otherwise persuaded) to sound "American" in an effort to cross over and appeal to our ears and how we have now basically come full-circle-- many of us find an "un-American" accent one of the most compelling attributes a band can have.
Buy the album here.
Labels: the twilight sad