The Twilight Singers

Talk about a time warp; whenever I hear this band I am immediately transported back to the first time I heard each song. Some bands have the ability to make a permanent mark in your mind, The Twilight Singers have always held a special place with me.

Dark and ominous at times and then gracefully beautiful at others.

When there’s a dreary rain or storm cloud over your head and you want to succumb to the dark side for a while this is your band.

They’re heavily invested in emotional highs and lows. I’m a Scorpio and perhaps that’s why I’ve always had such an affinity for this band. If you’re the person who’s always happy, you won’t like this band. If you’ve experienced the lowest lows and the highest highs, you’ll probably find something you like here.

The lead singer, Greg Dulli, spent over a decade with the band Afghan Whigs, in which they explored a more traditional classic-rock, almost opera-rock style. I could compose an equally long list of their songs, but I have a greater attachment to the more recent releases.

The Twilight Singers released their first album, Twilight As Played By the Twilight Singers, in 2000. This album is lighter than the later albums.

The songs have a soft, electronic theme with progressive rhythms and homogeneous instrumentation.

The audio mixing is relatively neutral so no one part stands out more than the others– giving it a dreamy, surreal narrative.

King Only, (2000).

These next two songs play in order on the album and should really be listened to together because they are Act I and II of the same drama. The first leads into the second– cause and effect, action and reaction.

Love, (2000).
Annie Mae, (2000).

The Second album, Blackberry Belle (2003), is the one I’ve listened to the most.

The first track opens with a simple string of piano keys–

stumbling down the rabbit hole leading you into a dark, brooding world.

It’s enchanting in a way you feel you know better than to get involved with.

 Martin Eden, (2003).

This next one is the third track, it mimics the first’s intro but with a completely different mood. It captures the excitement of youth: boundless energy, no limits and a desperate need to experience everything.

Teenage Wristband, (2003).

I can’t pin down why I love this song. I just do. Much like the others it’s chaotic and tormented like an epic.

Papillon, (2003).

I’ll admit these next two albums I haven’t listened to much, yet there are a few songs that have just grabbed me and sunk their hooks into my soul.

This one just wraps me up in it’s whimsy every time I hear it. It’s off the third album, Powder Burns (2006). This album embodies the perspective of growing up and learning from your mistakes– retrospect and remorse. It’s jazzy and bluesy in a dim-lit, smoke-filled, 50s-lounge style while staying true to the signature sound and style Dulli has perfected.

Candy Cane Crawl, (2006).

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of The Twilight Singers, they put out another album. Dulli has music in his blood and I think he might actually die if he weren’t allowed to make music anymore. He’s always got a story to tell and Dynamite Steps (2011) is proof.

Get Lucky, (2011).

Now that I’m back in the Los Angeles area, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they decide to tour again. My friends and I were lucky enough to see a couple shows when they had come though after the release of the first and second albums. The Twilight Singers always put on a great live show and I’d be thrilled to get the chance to see them again.