Finally managed to give the Twilight Sad’s ‘Here, It Never Snowed, Afterwards It Did’ EP a proper listen over the weekend.
It’s a strange beast featuring 4 re-recorded songs from the debut LP, one cover and only one new song. It’s the re-recordings that have been the focus of the most attention and, whilst they’re not really like completely new songs, they have been recorded in a substantially different way to the LP versions.
Whilst most of the time, the LP was an exercise in density of sound, the 4 songs here are much more stripped back. Even at that, the Twilight Sad still manage to make a mighty noise, no more obvious than on ‘’. One of the big advantages of this more subtle approach is that the vocals are really highlighted when James Graham really lets rip. Now, his voice can quite easily hold its own even when there’s all sorts of things going on but with more space in the songs, its impact is even more striking
Are these versions better than the originals? This take on ‘And She Would Darken the Memory’ possibly is but, although the version of ‘Cold Days In The Birdhouse’ is hugely impressive pitting Graham’s voice against just a distorted backing guitar which slowly builds to a crescendo, I’m not sure I don’t prefer the original.
The new song, the title track, is fine whilst the cover is something a little different in terms of a more conventional song structure.
On the face of it, ‘Here It Never Snowed …’ is a stop gap release pending new material. Yet without question it’s a rewarding experience as the band extend their sonic template by attempting a “less is more” philosophy. The next LP should be a cracker.