Originally pressed as a vinyl-only LP limited to 1,000 copies, the debut album by Glasgow, Scotland's Belle & Sebastian would probably be insufferable — if it didn't triumph on nearly every level. The chamber-pop product of leader Stuart Murdoch's actual music business class project features droll lyrics, human-sized performances, tender arrangements and an insular intensity that polarizes listeners into fanatical followers or bitter detractors just as the Smiths once did back in the day. The band gradually learned to play its instruments better, but it's debatable whether B&S 'subsequent, more professional discs bettered this one's fragile charm.
By Marc Hogan on 01.28.15 in News
There's no way the groundhog will see his shadow — at least, not based on this week's charts, which are thawing early from their usual January freeze. Fall Out Boy claim the top spot on the latest Billboard 200, but the...
By Marc Hogan on 01.22.15 in News
Belle and Sebastian's revitalization since the turn of the millennium — a period when, Stuart Murdoch recently told Pitchfork, "the records actually got weaker" — is such a rare feat that we might not yet fully appreciat...
By Barry Walters on 01.22.15 in Features
Barry Walters on the optimism and despair that runs through the Glasgow group's catalog.
By Marc Hogan on 01.12.15 in News
The start of 2015 was slow for new releases, but now a couple of our most anticipated albums of this young year are streaming: Sleater-Kinney's No Cities to Love and Belle and Sebastian's Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance...