For many years, the mention of Belle & Sebastian would bring forth nostalgic memories of kids' TV, Japanese cartoons set in the Pyrenees if I remember correctly. Good times. Think a Basque Mysterious Cities Of Gold.

But anyway, in latter years I've become more aware of the Scottish beat group of the same name, although I immediately dismissed them as one of those fey, twee, annoying groups who used stupid titles like 'Fold Your Hands Child You Walk Like A Peasant'.

Apparently, I was wrong. It doesn't happen often, so take note. I bought the new Belle & Sebastian album on the strength of two tracks: the recent single 'The Blues Are Still Blue', and 'Sukie In The Graveyard', first heard on the recent Contrast Podcast. It was chosen there by Jeff of The DIY Rockstar as his choice of the perfect 3 minute pop song. And it stole the show for me. As ace as Anti-Flag, Sly Stone and, um, Kenickie may be, this was, for me, the best song on there, and so I went forthwith and purchased the album, The Life Pursuit.

It's chock full of great songs, which is nice. Not only are the r'n'b stylings of 'The Blues Are Still Blue' still lovable, the lyrics are wry and smart, without being annoying: "The tracksuits old, and the hoody's way to moody for a kid with the will to funk; he dances in secret; he's a part-time punk." It's a great chorus as well.

Sukie In The Graveyard is a Hammond-led, fuzz-bassed, "ooh la la"-backed treat with an actual, proper guitar solo, not ashamed in the slightest. Get in.

The whole album makes me wonder where my head was stuck before: it's classic, proper songwriting with a very British twist that our friends across the pond never seem to pull off. It's tales of real-life done with understatement and secure in the knowledge that the bluster and bravado Arctic Monkeys seem to think they need is just not neccessary if you're confident in your material. It's diverse and interesting, and I think I may be in love.

Belle & Sebastian - The Blues Are Still Blue

Belle & Sebastian - Sukie In The Graveyard

Buy the album/single/other albums from Rough Trade
Buy the album/single/other albums from Amazon


The Hopeless Jazz Werewolf said...

Simone, can you check your yousendit links, as they don't seem to downloading in the right file format.

Oh Simone said...

Weird - they've changed yousendit recently, so that may be something to do with it... You're not trying to save as... are you?

Anonymous said...

ha, glad you liked the Sukie song! Good blog you have going on here.