The film, based on the musical side project of the same name that he came up with inand which features a group of female vocalists, including Catherine Ireton, tells the story of a troubled young girl, Eve Emily Browningwho escapes a mental health hospital and subsequently meets an out-of-luck guitarist, James Olly Alexander. The duo is later joined by a music student, Cassie Hannah Murrayand together this band of misfits shares dreams of performing their original music and living lives a little less ordinary. You took your time bringing God Help the Girl to fruition.
Didn't See It Coming: That's our first thought on seeing the shot of the band above. They're holding the newspapers from the day of the Scottish independence referendum in case you're squinting. It's not just an arch photo op, though.
TQ has heard four freshly-mastered tracks from upcoming album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance and we prick up our ears up at the opening line of new track 'Allie' — "when there's bombs in the Middle East, you want to hurt yourself" — while 'Cat With The Cream' observes "everybody bet on the boom and got busted".
It's what people do when they've given up on life and romance. But I think I have become more aware of the outside world — you start looking around you a bit more when you're older. I was interested in similar characters, but perhaps considering how the political world affects them.
I remember having the title for 'Stars Of Track And Field' for years before it actually became a song. But this title definitely paints a little picture for you.
It shows a girl who's robot from the waist down and a guy who's robot from the waist up, in a sort of post-war late-'40s scenario. The suggestion is that they'd been injured in some way during the war — but the robotics in question are far in advance of the actual period, a dreamlike scenario.
We tentatively ask if the song is about Murdoch's long-lasting struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "I clung to the bed and I clung to the past," goes one line.
Beginning in the late '80s, it's an experience he's previously credited with his first ventures into songwriting. But I don't think I just ever simply sat there and wrote a song which actually describes what happened.
And it surprised me that I did that. It was basically off the back of the film, which uses those elements as well.
I got a virus in Spain; it took me almost a year to get over that and get my strength back. It was a mentally trying time: I was back in ME land again and, almost to comfort myself, I wrote about the first time I was really sick. I've never encapsulated it like that before.
Every word of 'Nobody's Empire' means something to me, and it's something real, not just made up. Although it's couched in a metaphor, that song is absolutely the most personal I've ever written.
When I look back on it now, it's like a story of redemption, like one of these corny films, except my story went on for seven years, and everything happened really, really slowly. I'm afraid I'm one of those men. It's like landing a jet on an aircraft carrier — you can only get it wrong.
Am I making any sense? It's a tricky technical process.
But the act of putting an album together in order is a deliberate process, one that you can take the blame for and one which you can fail in. It's like editing a film, in a sense: The first 15 seconds in particular will perhaps cause a few double takes, fading in with that muted big beat effect that sounds like you're queuing outside a club leaking music, getting closer until, boom, the door suddenly opens.
Fifteen seconds more and it's hard not to wonder if Belle and Sebastian have been listening to a lot of 'Get Lucky' over the last few years. Although, who hasn't, frankly — we are all Pharrellites now, to paraphrase Peter Mandelson. Guitarist Bobby Kildea was behind the music on this one, says Murdoch.The idea of Belle & Sebastian doing an album of love songs tantalizes; it's a subject the beloved Scottish indie band has tackled time and again with equal amounts of wit, woe, joy and cynicism.
Belle and Sebastian are on a North American tour, and they stopped in NYC on Friday (6/8) to kick off the summer season at Forest Hills Stadium with Perfume Genius and Frankie Cosmos, making for. Belle and Sebastian performed “Write About Love”, the title track to the band’s new album (out October 12th), and despite not having cool helmets like Far East Movement, Belle and Sebastian.
Belle and Sebastian Write About Love by Matthew Cole The cover art, which shows a young woman gazing out a window like wistfulness incarnate, is nothing if not a statement of reticent intent. Official store of Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. CDs. For our Track-by-Track this week we are featuring Belle and Sebastian's Third Eye Centre, and for the next three days we'll post commentary by Stuart Murdoch and Stevie Jackson on all of the album's songs.
Here's part two.