Despite having a reputation as a band with an overwhelming sound, Òran Mór Sessions takes The Twilight Sad to a different level. The initial release of the album was late last year and featured stripped down, acoustic versions of tracks from their critically acclaimed fourth studio album Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave. The self-released CDs came in hand stamped and individually wrapped sleeves, which expressed the intimacy that flourished from the album. The Scottish trio indulge both emotion and gloom into an album that has an immediacy that directs you to their core talents.
This reissue includes nine songs and was recorded live at the Òran Mór Session and Goodison Road in Glasgow. It includes hits from their previous album, including the first single they released, the sullen ballad ‘Last January’ and was even able to give a greater rawness to ‘I Could Give You All That I Don’t Want’. After they released the album with Fat Cat Records, they added three new tracks including the cheery ‘Drown So I Can Watch’ and B-side ‘The Airport’. A particular highlight is the cover of Arthur Russell track, ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’ which they are able to totally re-invent through the sincerity and harshness of James Russell’s voice.
Òran Mór Sessions consistently conveys immaculate emotion and purity. By stripping away the reverb and distortion, The Twilight Sad reveal an intense sensitivity despite the gloom that is reflected in both their music and their lyrics. A complete variation from their usual music, Òran Mór Sessions captures a new aspect of The Twilight Sad that emphasises their raw talent, which doesn’t see them subvert from their downbeat mood. Even if you haven’t heard them before it is definitely worth a listen despite a huge difference from their typical wall-of-sound style.