Stripped back beauty...
'Òran Mór Session'

A year on from the release of the grand and occasionally devastating 'Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave', Scottish outfit The Twilight Sad revisit their biggest success with this stripped back collection.

Now, on paper this nine-track release of re-recorded and simplified 'Nobody...' cuts and B-sides may scream cash-in (and indeed it did begin life as a more humble E.P.) but thanks to sheer quality of the songwriting and the group's live prowess Òran Mór is a pleasure. This is perfect autumnal music and a fine collection for those prone to looking out the window with a cuppa on a wet Sunday afternoon. Romantics, basically.

While their latest effort was highly acclaimed - in these here pages, no less - the sheer epic and melodramatic production can be an enquired taste. With only gentle piano melodies and guitars as accompaniment the sessions force the listener to truly soak up James Graham's emotive lyrics and belting voice. 'I Could Give You All That You Don't Want' transforms from a bass led post punk stomper to bitter-sweet bedroom confessional. A sweeter twin replaces the indie-dance floor groove on 'Last January'; arpeggio guitar and more gentle delivery effectively changing the songs genre. It's impressive in its subtlety.

A faithful cover of Arthur Russell's 'I Couldn't Say It To Your Face' makes a beautiful coda to this special set. Organic, intimate and well worth adding to anyone's collection. Grab that jumper and enjoy.

7/10

Words: Sam Walker-Smart

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