If ever there was a band made for cauld, dreich January, The Twilight Sad surely fits the bill. On fifth album, It Won’t Be Like This All The Time, James Alexander Graham’s introspective lyrics are the perfect accompaniment for the post-festive comedown, while Andy MacFarlane’s vision for an even bolder sound is not only fully recognized but will literally rattle your soul as the new year grinds forward.

The Kilsyth four-piece are back. Fresh off touring with cult heroes The Cure, there’s also a new line-up, which now includes regular touring buddies turned band members Brendan Smith and Johnny Docherty as well as a new deal with Mogwai’s Rock Action Records label.

The time spent with Robert Smith and co. in particular has left an indelible mark. This is still a Twilight Sad album, filled with loud trademark angst. But on this new record we find a discernibly stronger focus on melody. Tracks are laden with gorgeous synths, guitar hooks and dreamy arpeggios. Breaking free from the album-tour-album cycle of making music, the band has taken its time to craft something on a far grander scale than what has come before.

It appears it wasn’t just the music that left an imprint on the guys. The worldwide scale of touring with The Cure, complemented by their own triumphant headline shows, must have opened Graham and MacFarlane’s eyes to what could still be for a band yet to make an impact on the mainstream. Shows in London and Edinburgh for November have already sold out with a North American tour to come first, which will surely do no harm to those ambitions.

As ever, there’s no danger of optimism breaking out as Graham’s vocal incantations flit between anger, despair, voyeurism and romantic longing. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), this is not.

At the record’s midway point, on Sunday Day, he asks “Would you throw me out into the cold? Would you throw me out into the road? If that’s what you were told…”

Earlier, on Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting, he catches someone (an unrequited love perhaps) “kissing on the backstairs”. While on Girl Chewing Gum, he confesses, “I don’t wanna be here anymore…put me in the ground.”

Things take an even darker turn on album closer and latest single, Videograms as Graham ponders, “And we drink to improve our mood, and we go to the places we never should.”

At times it gets a bit much. Even when you think you know what to expect from a Twilight Sad song, lyrics as blunt as, “Is it still me that you love?” feel too close for comfort. It isn’t a long record at 45 minutes but by the end you may feel somewhat drained. These are not songs for the faint of heart. The album is at turns exhilarating (Auge Maschine), cinematic (Keep it All to Myself) and claustrophobic (I/m Not Here [Missing Face]).

Yet isn’t that what we need from music at a time when the world around us seems to consist solely of emotionless algorithms, political fear-mongering and truly soul-crushing materialism?

Commenting last year on the band’s potential to hit the big time Robert Smith said: “If the world was a better place they would be playing to more people, and I think they can.”