Almost a year on, the loss of Scott Hutchison is still very much present in so many people’s hearts, but also in everyday conversations. Scott took his own life on the 10th of May last year and a sea of grief washed over not only the Scottish music scene, but over the whole world and reached fans in every corner of the planet. The days following Scott’s disappearance was a really, really hard time for many, and still to this day I curse the ominous black box that is the Dakota hotel when I see it on the horizon while crossing the Forth Rail Bridge.
His legacy and influence haven’t disappeared, and I absolutely believe they won’t ever. I see Scott mentioned on social media, in magazines (The Skinny has included a wee mention of Scott every month since May) and in conversations every day. Most notably his close friend James Graham, lead singer of The Twilight Sad, has said that Scott’s passing influenced their new album and the band have vowed to sing Frightened Rabbit’s ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ at every live show from now on.
Scott was such a prolific, heartfelt songwriter that left a glimmer of hope amongst the darkest lyrics, and his songs of pain and sadness made the feeling universal and connected listeners with Scott in such a deep and personal way that no other artist has managed to do the same. He was humble, sarcastic, hilarious and felt everything so deeply. Through his suffering he brought so much joy and happiness to so many lives, just through the power of music. He was a voice for the troubled and openly spoke about his mental health and encouraged people to do the same and seek help. Scott was such a significant figure in the Scottish music scene and a friend to everyone who knew him and will be remembered and celebrated forever, he really did make tiny changes to earth.
(Photo by me)
The twilight sad are a band which crawls breathlessly forward, singing about so much pain and hardship but still providing hope to all who listen in a promise of ‘IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME’
Their newest studio album feels like a sudden sucker punch in retaliation from someone whos had enough of being pushed around. The sound of the album still carries that recognisable lonely, spacey guitar sound filled with fuzz and squealing pedal effects which the band are known for but welcomes in a new sense of strength to its angst. Many of the songs on the album feature powerful almost operatic synth which gives everything a higher sense of importance, especially to the very personal and brooding words that frontman James Graham cries out. Songs such as ‘Keep it all to myself’ and ‘the arbor’ exemplify this pounding choir of synths.The album departs at times from a more guitar driven past with 2014’s ‘fourteen autumns and fifteen winters’ and ‘nobody wants to be here & nobody wants to leave’ to a highly synth driven soundscape being built up with the addition of those staple fuzzy guitars, with some still containing that heavy guitar sound such as ‘VTr’ and ‘Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting’.
The album feels like an unexpected but undoubtedly correct way for the band to evolve, perfectly incorporating something new and unknown while still keeping it as close to their original sound as possible.The balance of this doesn’t even sway, it divides perfectly.
‘IT WON/T BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME’ pulls you in seductively and keeps you there.
The album sounds as true and honest as ever with James Graham’s unedited Lanarkshire accent, lulling you into the echoey space the songs create.
This is a band that have clearly gone through a lot and instead of letting that overcome them, they’ve taken it all on and become stronger for it.
Star Rating – ★★★★☆
Listen to the album here: