Posted by: ericclark | January 2, 2008

Latest obsession: Belle and Sebastian

belle-and-sebastian.jpg

Belle and Sebastian

I’ve been aware of Belle and Sebastian for years, but it wasn’t until the Scottish indie-pop band released it’s sixth album, 2006’s “The Life Pursuit,” that I finally decided to give the group a chance.

I’d been scared away by reviews of Belle and Sebastian’s previous albums, which always used terms like “twee” or “fey” in describing the group’s sound, making Belle and Sebastian sound like the wimpiest band in the world.

But I had learned that one of my friends here at The Gazette, food and fitness editor Anne Kapler, was a big Belle and Sebastian fan. She liked the group so much that she even had named her cat Sebastian in honor of the group.

I’m always interested in checking out my friends’ favorite bands, so I gave a listen to “Another Sunny Day” from “The Life Pursuit.” I immediately was drawn to the song’s quick tempo, jangling guitars and the snappily soulful lyrics singer Stuart Murdoch leads off the song with:

“Another sunny day, I met you up in the garden / You were digging plants, I dug you, beg your pardon.”

I think the reason the lyric connected with me so quickly was because my wife recently had taken up gardening. I couldn’t wait to share the song with her.

So I bought “The Life Pursuit” and it was one of my favorite albums of 2006. Ever since, I’ve been meaning to start collecting Belle and Sebastian’s back catalog, and I finally got around to it in December.

I downloaded the group’s previous album, 2003’s “Dear Catastrophe Waitress.” Exquisite. Then Belle and Sebastian’s first album, 1996’s “Tigermilk.” Amazing. Within the next few weeks I plan on acquiring what is considered to be the band’s masterpiece, 1997’s “If You’re Feeling Sinister,” and continue to work my way up from there.

For a taste of Belle and Sebastian’s sound, check out the video for “Funny Little Frog” from “The Life Pursuit.” This is one of my favorite songs on the album, highlighted by Murdoch’s two-syllable pronunciation of “throat.”

“Funny Little Frog” video at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvS902DLEVI

“I’m a Cuckoo” video at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuKuw71YBbI

Also have a listen to songs on Belle and Sebastian’s MySpace page, including a brand-new holiday song, “Are You Coming Over For Christmas.”

Belle and Sebastian MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebandbelleandsebastian

Belle and Sebastian has become a big-time obsession for me (I even named this blog with a play on lyrics from one of the band’s songs), and I’m so happy to have the group’s company through the cold winter months.

Now, I’ve just got to see them live.

What do you think of Belle and Sebastian?

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Responses

  1. “… reviews of Belle and Sebastian’s previous albums, which always used terms like “twee” or “fey” in describing the group’s sound, making Belle and Sebastian sound like the wimpiest band in the world.”

    That would be accurate.

  2. Brilliant. One of my very favorite bands. Although I think DCW is their best so far. And I actually prefer The Boy With the Arab Strap to If You’re Feeling Sinister. Oh – if you can find Push Barman To Open Old Wounds, snag it! A great collection of all of their EP’s.


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