Belle and Sebastian, an indie band born in Glasgow, has been around for years. Rolling all the way back to good ol’ 1996. Yet, their new album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance released last Monday has brought them back in the game. Distributed by Matador Records and produced by Ben H. Allen ||| (Animal Collective and Gnarls Barkley), the album serves up a new dish of rhythm and pop.
Stuart Murdoch, frontman of Belle and Sebastian sings bitter sweet melodies in the new album. His staple wistful tone opens the first track “Nobody’s Empire”, a personal song Murdoch wrote about his six year struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Murdoch also tweeted about the process:
“Mastering an album is to certain men what childbirth is to women. I’m afraid I’m one of those men.”
Now I can’t say I know what childbirth is like, but women have said that it is pain like nothing you’ve ever imagined and rewarding beyond belief.
Last year, Murdoch also took a chance and wrote and directed a feature film, God Help The Girl, a British musical drama. A coming-of-age story with a heavy focus on pop music, showcasing Murdoch’s creativity.
Since formation, Belle and Sebastian have revamped their sound with different textures sounding a little more modern. Mixing synthesisers with electronic grooves, their new album speaks to a wider audience in providing the funk with “The Party Line” and “Enter Sylvia Plath”.
Slower tunes like “The Cat with Cream” and “Ever had a Little Faith” spell out nostalgic vibes and sound like a merry-go-round of dreams and second guesses. The final track, “Today” would make for a good soundtrack to a low-budget indie film.
All in all, the history of Belle and Sebastian make them all the more worth checking out. Thumbs up to them for spurting out new tunes!
2015 Tour dates*:
Feb 16th: Hostess Club Taipei, Legacy, Taipei – Taiwan
May 22nd: Glasgow, Hydro Arena (w/ Scottish Festival Orchestra)
June 10th: New York, Radio City Music Hall
July 2-4th: Keflavik, ATP Iceland
*More dates are said to be announced later in the year.
Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland.
Latest album: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, released on 19 January 2015.
Sounds like: Camera Obscura, The Gentle Waves & Jens Lekman.
Say what? Belle and Sebastian’s first songs were picked up when founders Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David worked with music professor Alan Rankine recording demos which later were produced and released through Stow College’s label Electric Honey.