I’m never one to shy away from a Belle and Sebastian set, and thankful we were able to enjoy a night at the always beautiful ACL Live. Plus, it also gave us a time to preview the much-hyped Men I Trust. Check below for more words and photos.
In fact, the Internet did say there’s a new Belle and Sebastian track out there…it’s one of the tracks that will feature on the band’s release of three (3!) new EPs. The band remains one of the finest purveyors of pop music to this day and age, and to have 3 albums with their own story seems fitting…especially as they did something similar back in their early days. Just take a moment of your day, relax and enjoy this new song off of EP #2. The collection, called How to Solve Our Human Problems, will be out on February 17th via Matador Records.
Finnish label Soliti has quite a remarkable stable, and this year they signed what I think is an artists capable of breaking across the globe: Verandan. With one incredible single under their belt, the band bring you this brand new single (released digitally on the 14th) to enjoy. It reminds me of the best of the pop world, combing chamber elements with delicate touches of atmospherics…all the while keeping a nice bit of energy in the track. Just imagine the playful bounce of Belle and Sebastian mingling with the more introspective world of the Clientele. The group even throws in some joyous “ooh oohs” near the end, so be sure to stay ’til then.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off Friday with this tasty new Belle and Sebastian morsel. It’s an interesting new tune, with a pretty quick-delivering vocal attack from Stuart built around basic percussion. But, as the Belles are always like to do, the song begins to swell, layers are added, leading the song to a momentary blissful burst. They’ll be touring the US through the end of July and start of August (though sadly no Austin dates). Maybe this hints at a new record just around the corner, and I’ll take that any day.
I claim no discovery points on these tunes from The Golden Eaves, as it was pointed in my direction by one of the many purveyors of great indiepop. But, I’m so glad I came across it today; it fits perfect with the foggy morning that’s rolled into Texas. It’s all about melody with this German act, allowing for the understated vocal tones to shine and mesh with the seemingly Western guitar sounds. I’m not going to lie, but there’s an awful lot of Belle and Sebastian allusions in here, especially with the way the lyrics were written…and that’s never a bad thing in my book. Look for the No Other 7″ now!
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
This Friday is one of my favorite days of the year guys. It’s Belle and Sebastian Day!!! Well, not nationally, but personally. The Glaswegian band has long been one of my favorite all time bands, which was reaffirmed with their latest release, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. They’ll be bringing their wonderful version of pop music to the stage this Friday at ACL Live Moody Theatre…and we’ve got one pair of tickets to giveaway to a lucky winner. Trust me, you’ll want to see Stuart dancing all upon the stage…plus Wild Moccasins will be opening, so you win. Try to win below, but if you want guaranteed tickets, but them HERE.
In order to win, leave a comment with your favorite Belle and Sebastian song or album (if you say Storytelling you’re not winning!). We’ll select a winner by Thursday at Noon, and you’ll be notified of your pair of tickets.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/05.-The-Cat-with-the-Cream.mp3]
I troll the Internet constantly, always trying to find something that most folks haven’t hit on yet. So how did I miss the Leisure Society. My ears hear them as purveyors of orchestral pop, with just a slight dash of twee in there. They remind me of a land where Efterklang meets Belle & Sebastian, with really great production. The song below has some sweet horn work, so if this is to your liking, then you’ll probably enjoy The Fine Art of Hanging On, which was just released by Full Time Hobby.
“If I had a camera I’d snap you now cause there’s beauty in every stumble—” our wise sage Stuart Murdoch recounts in the heart of opener “Nobody’s Empire,” both easing and stirring our antsy minds as we ask the question: will our favorite Glaswegians knock it out of the park once again or will we be forced to find the beauty in the stumble?
The album opens with the track from which I just quoted from, and this opener has everything to appease your Belle and Sebastian pop sensibilities. From the beginning, the band doles out the whimsy you’ve come to expect: the whole song revolves around the sing-songy melody as Stuart spins you a nostalgic tale of looking back and you just want to sing along. It seems as though he is revisiting those gloomy times that served as the setting for albums like If You’re Feeling Sinister. Now, far away from that darkness he is able to look back with wise eyes and celebrate them—which seems to be the spirit of this album from the very start.
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is long and sprawling, stretching farther than an hour in length, and in this time you’ll find there are a wide variety of tracks that Belle and Sebastian add to their vast catalogue. The band goes down the synth pop road with songs like “The Party Line” and “Enter Sylvia Plath,” both of which see the band at their most electronic and straying from soft-spoken whimsical pop and their bluesy rock and into something new. However, through these numbers you still have the finesse that this band brings always: the songs are orchestrations far from strewn together haphazardly.
Where this album really shines, though, is on the subtler numbers that you don’t even reach until after the midpoint of the album: I’m looking at you “The Everlasting Muse.” This band is the best at storytelling, and so naturally “The Everlasting Muse” is a winding tale of an elusive and mysterious lady. Instrumentally, this track is one of the most interesting tracks this band has crafted, and they utilize all their skills with such ease and control. The song begins quietly with a grooving bass line, small drumbeats, Stuart’s soft vocals, little nuanced piano and synth parts, and electric guitar all simmering together in harmony. Then the whole thing flips on itself into the chorus, which is a bombastic and swaying, polka-esque spin, complete with handclaps and violin. But then the band switches back to a kicked up version of the verse, and now Stuart is complimented with Sarah Martin’s breathy vocals and Stevie Jackson’s electric guitar licks intensify. They try to tell you that “beauty crumbles with the years,” right before they jump into a glorious instrumental bridge/segue with horns before launching into the masterful end of the song where everyone comes together to sing and contribute and you have a little trouble believing what they tell you.
Somehow, Belle and Sebastian haven’t stumbled or lost any of their beauty. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance marks their ninth studio album and yet another graceful step in their dance of a career. These Glaswegian heroes make music that glides through genres, but still remains quintessentially the wistful pop we fell in love with almost twenty years ago: “The music is for us.”
We here at ATH like to bring you tunes that you may not hear elsewhere, spending lots of time scouring the internet for the best jams so that you don’t have to. However, that doesn’t mean we still don’t like to report on some of those bigger name bands we already know and love. So in this new feature we’ll group together some of the tracks that blew up in internetland yesterday and give you the necessary details so you can stay hip and fresh. We also rated the tunes with our special scale so you know which is the best new shit. So listen up kids.