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Friday, April 3, 2009

The (sort of) return of Belle & Sebastian!: God Help the Girl

I can't believe how silently this entered and exited this week's music news:
The (sort of) return of Belle & Sebastian !
God Help the Girl, 'a story set to music', is a project dreamed up by Stuart Murdoch some years ago when touring Belle & Sebastian's album Dear Catastrophe Waitress. According to GhtG's Myspace page, the idea came to Stuart as follows:
"I was out for a run and I got this tune in my head and it occurred to me that it wasn't a Belle & Sebastian song. I could hear female voices and strings, I could hear the whole thing, but I just couldn’t envisage myself singing it with the group.” 
As one tune became two and two became three, Stuart set out to find vocalists for these songs. Over 400 entries made their way to Stuart's inbox, and he invited a number of them to come in and try out the songs (see video). Several of these vocalists made it onto the resulting album. Taking centre stage on these is Catherine Ireton, who took lead vocals on most of the songs on the album. You may well already know , or at least recognise her, from the cover of B&S' 2006 'White Collar Boy' single. Or you may well have heard her as one half of the rather lovely The Go Away Birds, who sound a bit like Hannah & Sam.
The record? Not having heard much of it yet, I'll have to go by the description  given, which tells us that it 'draws equally on musicals, sixties’ girl groups, eighties’ indie and, most of all, classic pop records'. While Catherine Ireton somewhat resembles Kate Jackson of the Long Blondes, and has a voice seemingly born to sing Stuart Murdoch's songs. The album also features various other members of Belle & Sebastian.

Oh, and if you were wondering, Stuart Murdoch, doing something of a reverse Stephin Merritt,  sings on (only) 2 of the 14 songs.
A little patience is required, as the album will be released on June 15th.
Here's a taste:


Chris said...

I first heard Belle & Sebastian blasting from a 15-passenger van that was on its way to pick myself and a group up after having been backing packing for nearly a week through the northern california mountains. I immediately fell in love.

I lost touch with the band's music, so to stumble across this through your blog, was very surprising and amazing!

Thanks so much for turning me on to this... I just wrote a tweet linking to this post :)

Fianna Hornby said...

Belle & Sebastian will be my favorite band, always.
I am ever so excited about this, I really hope they tour!
I missed out because of being young and hopeless.
How do I follow this blog? It is delightful

Steven B. said...

Thanks for passing by guys :)

I wish I had a better story as to how I first heard them. All I remember is reading a review or something of 'If You're Feeling Sinister', and going to the nearest record shop to buy it. I hadn't even heard anything (those were the days when you would have to buy something just to hear it!) That was it. I fell in love with them immediately, completely and utterly.

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