The Twilight Sad's Forget the Night Ahead: Track-By-Track, By the Band

Feature by Andy MacFarlane | 08 Sep 2009

Reflection of the Television
We weren't really sure if this one was going to be on the album; we had the chords and vocal line, and thought we'd give it a go when we were in the studio so we had something else to record. It was more of an idea to try to see if it would work. I wanted to have The Cure/Nine Inch Nails kind of drums and repetitive bass line going all the way through, holding it together, and have noise drones sitting over the top of it, so James could sing without having to follow anything. It's a more sparse sound than what was on the first album, which works well as an introduction. The title is from Notes Toward a Mental Breakdown by J. G. Ballard.

I Became a Prostitute
Firstly, this song is not about being a whore, it's a line from the Jean-Luc Godard film Vivre sa Vie (My Life to Live) that seemed to fit with the concept of the lyrics. I’m not sure if we shot ourselves in the foot with that title, seeing as it was the first single. For radio, it had to be called "I Became a ........" because the word ‘prostitute’ is apparently offensive. This one came together quite easily when writing it and always stood out to be a single.

Seven Years of Letters
This is the second proper single from the album. We didn't ever intend to have the first three songs in the order that they were released, that's just a coincidence. This one has a guitar solo and a creaky piano seat. We call this one ‘Mooth’ when we play live, we never write down the real names of songs on setlists 'cause we normally can't remember what the real names are, so it's easier for us to make up fake ones.

Made to Disappear
I had the chord sequence to this for a while but it was quite difficult to piece the structure together, it was one we had to keep on revisiting. It’s got a piano solo in it. It might not sound like piano 'cause it's covered in space echo, and it might not be Little Richard, but it's there. The album title came from this song.

This is an instrumental, I can't really remember much about writing this. It's another one that was pieced together in the studio making loops of noise. When I was Googling to find out where the title came from, I noticed Slipknot have a song called Scissors. Good one. Might get some accidental MCPS money, if I'd thought of that idea earlier I could've called it Billie Jean.

The Room
There was an acoustic version of this called ‘Untitled #27’ on our tour EP (The Twilight Sad) Killed My Parents and Hit the Road (that EP was going to be called The Twilight Sad Shagged Yr Maw 'n' Fucked Off, but we thought that might've been inappropriate). This is another one that has a more sparse arrangement with piano, bass and toms being the main instruments throughout. Laura from My Latest Novel plays violin on this. The title is from The Room by Hubert Selby Jr.

That Birthday Present
This is probably the fastest song we have; we were told our songs were all slow, so at least we have a faster one to play now. I didn't think we were going to do anything with it, we recorded a rough demo of it quite a while before writing songs for this album and it's always just been kicking about. Someone also tried to tell me it sounded like a Pavement song, I really like Pavement, but I can't see that one. Laura plays on this one too, you can't really hear it but it's in the mix.

Floorboards Under the Bed
This song starts with James walking about the live room singing. We were all in the other room shouting at each other, playing a football game, and it came through on the vocal track, I’m not sure if you can hear it 'cause of the guitar there, and I obviously can't play piano.

This was one of the last songs to be written and came together in the studio. To me it seems like one of the more accessible tracks on the album, well musically, James is singing about killing and burying people. It’s accessible, if you don't mind that.

The Neighbours Can't Breathe
I normally write music with films on ‘cause the television annoys me, I can't remember what any of the other songs were written to, but I remember having Dead Man's Shoes on when this was done. This was another one that was on the tour EP, as ‘Untitled #28’.

At the Burnside
I think this is the oldest song of them all, I found it in amongst some demos that were forgotten about, that we recorded not too long after the first album. The lyrics came from a story that James‘s father told him and I think he related them back to his situation at the time. It’s pretty disturbing and maybe the darkest song on here. It was always going to be the song that finished the album.

Forget the Night Ahead is released via FatCat on 5 Oct.