Their second album, Forget The Night Ahead (released in September 2009), was lyrically more personal and musically darker and more streamlined. Recording sessions for the album also produced the mid-2010 EP release The Wrong Car, which followed the departure of bassist Craig Orzel in February 2010. The Twilight Sad's third album, No One Can Ever Know, was released in February 2012 and marked another stylistic shift, with the band citing industrial music and krautrock influences for a darker, sparser sound. The band released their fourth studio album, Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave, in October 2014. The trio are augmented during live performances by Johnny Docherty (bass) and Brendan Smith (keyboards), and formerly by Martin Doherty (keyboards, guitar) between 2008 and August 2012.
The band describes their sound as "folk with layers of noise," and music critics have described the band as "perennially unhappy" and "a band that inject some real emotion and dynamic excitement into a comparatively standard template."