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On Deck: The Twilight Sad

By ; December 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM 

On Deck is a column dedicated to giving artists some room to talk about what they’re currently listening to and to explore some of their favorite and most influential records.

Coming off an extensive tour in support of their latest LP No One Can Ever Know, which we reviewed here, Scottish shoegazers The Twilight Sad have had a very busy year.  Besides their well-received third album and ensuing global tour, there has also been an album of remixes released on Fat Cat Records that featured songs from No One Can Ever Know cut up and pulled apart by bands like Liars, The Horrors, and Com Truise.  Before starting what is sure to be another busy year for the band, guitarist Andy MacFarlane sat down for Beats Per Minute and wrote about some of the records that he has been listening to lately.  Between seminal 80’s indie pop and classic 60’s girl group nuggets, MacFarlane gives us some insight into the influences that inform his own musical preferences as well as those that spill over into the band.  Enjoy the latest installment of On Deck with Andy MacFarlane of The Twilight Sad.

The Sound – Jeopardy (Korova)

I only came across The Sound within the last couple of years, but have been listening to the album Jeopardy a lot recently. It’s was easily one of the most overlooked records when it was released, and still is today. It’s a really intense performance by Adrian Borland, vocally and lyrically. You can tell, even then, how frustrated and depressed he was, which obviously worsened leading to him throwing himself in front of a train. It’s pretty far advanced for a debut album released in 1980, you can hear similarities to their contemporaries, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely stands on it’s own as a great record from start to finish. Even the artwork looks great. It’s annoying that this record hasn’t had the recognition it should have.

The Marvelettes – The Singles (Motown)

I’ve always known about the Marvelettes, but I’ve become really obsessed with listening to them this year. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about them, but their records seem to stand out among all the other Motown releases to me. They weren’t ever going to go far wrong with people like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Berry Gordy writing for them and having the Funk Brothers as their backing band, but I don’t think there was a girl group around at that point, that came close to making anything as good as those recordings.

Anika – Anika (Stones Throw)

I’ve not really stopped listening to this record since it was released. Apart from 2 songs, it’s a covers record, which I wouldn’t normally pay too much attention to, but I was already a fan of the Beak> record, who are the band, then when I heard her sing, they work together perfectly. It was a breath of fresh air hearing that album in amongst everything else that was being released at that point. It was pretty brave to attempt to cover songs like ‘Terry’, ‘The End of the World’, ‘Masters of War’ etc. as they’re classic songs that you wouldn’t normally expect any cover to do justice, but they do, and the cover of Ray Davies’ ‘I Go To Sleep’ is the best version of that song that there is.

The Cure – The Head on the Door (Elektra)

Normally when I listen to the Cure, I’ll put on the ‘Seventeen Seconds’, ‘Faith’ and ‘Pornography’ era. Those 3 records have been a big influence on our music, but recently when we’ve been on tour, I’ve been listening to ‘The Head on the Door’ a lot. It’s obviously got 2 of their biggest singles on there, ‘Inbetween Days’ and ‘Close to Me’, but I’ve found myself listening to ‘Push’ and ‘A Night Like This’ over and over again.

The Minimal Wave Tapes Volume 1 & 2 (Stones Throw)

I came across these compilations through the French band Deux, I knew a few of their songs and noticed they were on here. It’s basically a collection of DIY electronic music from the 70’s and 80’s, that had originally been released on limited cassettes or vinyl by the artists, and it’s been compiled by Veronica Vasicka and Peanut Butter Wolf. I would listen to this a lot around the recording of No One Can Ever Know, it’s got a really sparse sound created with analogue synths and drum machines, which is something we wanted to have flowing through that album.

Check out The Twilight Sad’s latest album No One Can Ever Know on Fat Cat Records and its companion remix album No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes, with reconfigured songs by Com Truise, Liars, The Horrors, and others.

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