“If all the girls are wearing headphones, how will they hear me singing Belle & Sebastian?”
It’s a knowing opening line. If Ruins is like anything, it’s like a Belle & Sebastian record. There’s more self-deprecation to wade through, but at its core, this is the life of—as singer Marc Cantone puts it—a boy in a woman’s world.
Ruins isn’t a huge departure from previous City And Horses albums, but it doesn’t need to be when the tunes are this catchy. The jingle-jangle sounds of sunny days and launderettes meet insecurity and anguished, Dr. Dog-style soul. Check out “Drag” below.
The latest offering from Belle & Sebastian’s Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance—a groovy Stevie Jackson-led number that comes in at several minutes longer than the album version. This drawn-out rendition would have actually fit quite well on that record.
What a perfect couple, in a perfect house. They’ve got some perfect ideas, too—invite your friends over and put a carpet sweeper in their hands. The dance party can’t start until the floor is clean.
Jackson here answers a pressing question of our age: why do the perfect couples keep breaking up? Apparently “They couldn’t agree on their organic produce.”
We’re a couple weeks late on this (happens every year), but as usual, we’re pleased to highlight this year’s winner of the Scottish Album of the Year Award: Kathryn Joseph.
Joseph took home the prize for her Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled record, which came out earlier this year. Check out album track “The Why What, Baby?” up above.
This win was no easy feat; Joseph beat out heavy hitters Belle & Sebastian, and previous winners Young Fathers.
A ghost of pop past. “Paper Boat” has been circling the Internet since the Internet looked like this, but it’s never seen the light of day on a Belle & Sebastian album.
Enter Stuart David, leader of Looper—about to release a new album, box set and a book—and singer on “Paper Boat,” looking to drum up some publicity (we harbour no grudge for the attention grab—this was a long time coming).
The video was filmed by David’s wife and bandmate, Karn, “in the summer of 1998 when Neil Robertson (the then B&S manager) took Stuart Murdoch, Isobel Campbell, Stuart and Karn David, to Banchory, Aberdeenshire for a wee trip.”
The lead track on Belle & Sebastian’s soon-out Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.
The band solicited fan film submissions for this video; they’re mixed with clips from the album cover shoot and from the Scottish Screen Archive.
Belle & Sebastian go clubbing (no, not like in “Legal Man”).
This Canadian-made vid (it was shot mostly in Toronto’s Great Hall) is half So You Think You Can Dance and half high school prom—choreography meets tangible ennui.
Seems everything goes awry in the end, but stares of that intensity rarely lead to desirable outcomes, anyway. These kids need to relax (isn’t that what the weed was for?).
Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is out in January.
No, it’s not a Grease remake; this scene comes to us from God Help The Girl, written and directed by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch.
We have to call out Murdoch, here, for a blatant double dip. “I’ll Have To Dance With Cassie” originally appeared on the album God Help The Girl, in 2009. It’s making the rounds again, now, on the God Help The Girl Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which contains most of the tunes from that older record, plus some extras.
P.S. That’s Catherine Ireton’s voice you’re hearing, not Emily Browning’s.