Starting with their 2007 debut LP, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, Scottish trio the Twilight Sad have cycled through an array of dour styles: shoegaze shrouded in noisy black clouds, terse, grayscale post-punk and airy synthpop augmented by eerie synths. The band’s fourth album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, touches on all these eras, although with greater clarity and depth of desolation than in the past. “Pills I Swallow” captures the lush decay of Bowie’s Berlin triptych via alienated keyboards and atmospheric arrangements, while the title track is funereal shoegaze, all foggy keyboards and vocalist James Graham’s faded crooning.
This sonic crispness is partly due to the deft mixing of Peter Katis, who last worked with the band on Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. On this new album, Katis teases out the Twilight Sad’s solemn side — in particular on “Leave the House,” a lullaby driven by church-hymn keyboards and a soft drum machine — and balances out their post-rock roars with primitive electropop signifiers, as on the ringing “In Nowheres.” Above all, Katis ensures the gloomy pallor hanging over the music never suppresses the band’s pop-leaning tendencies; the midnight-hued “There’s a Girl in the Corner” and low-lit standout “Drown So I Can Watch” are pristine. With Nobody Wants to Be Here, the Twilight Sad harness their melancholy and turn it into comforting angst.