GENTLE SINNERS – ” These Actions Cannot Be Undone “

Posted: May 15, 2022 in MUSIC

Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat and The Twilight Sad’s James Graham join forces to make an album unlike any either have made before, “Killing This Time” is the first single by Gentle Sinners.
Gentle Sinners are James Graham (The Twilight Sad) & someone else.

Aidan Moffat and James Graham have known each other for years, traveling in similar circles of Glasgow’s indie rock scene as frontmen for Arab Strap and The Twilight Sad, respectively. In 2021, Graham was moving out of the city he’d called home for most of his life and relocating to Northeast Scotland, and met up with Moffat before leaving town. A long admirer of Moffat’s work in and out of Arab Strap, Graham wanted his advice on working on a solo project. Moffatt in turn suggested they work together on something, and said he actually had some music he’d been working on he thought would be perfect.

“I really wanted to try something I’d never done before, which is make music for other people to sing to, and that sort of became a theme of the album,” Moffat says. “If we hadn’t done it before, we should definitely do it now.” Mission accomplished, above and beyond those intentions. Gentle Sinners sound like no other music either have made before. 

“These Actions Cannot Be Undone” is grand, striking sophistipop, closer to Wild Beasts or The Associates than the widescreen anthemic indie rock that might come to mind with this pair. Graham almost sounds like a different person, often working in the upper registers of his voice. “Killing This Time” is a sweeping and synthy dancefloor thumper, while “Don’t Say Goodnight” weaves layers of Graham’s vocals with delicate strings and glitchy electronic flourishes.

There are a couple moments where Gentle Sinners go where you think — or maybe hope — they might. “Shores of Anhedonia” features Moffat’s distinctive, breathy and sinister spoken word delivery — “You know what it’s like when you stop to ask the Big Questions, but it’s a messy business and who needs the drama?” — paired with Graham’s plaintive wails of “I want to fade away.” This is drama we need and lyrically “These Actions Cannot Be Undone” is what you’d expect, with lots of weighty soul searching. But it’s a better that “Shores of Anhedonia” is the anomaly here, as this album offers surprises at every turn.

released May 13th, 2022

Comments
  1. Yeah. I am a bit confused, it is not what I expected. So right, as you told.
    Will listen a few days more before finishing my review.
    Best wishes, Jens

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