Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian

Belle And Sebastian, Summer 2013.

Stuart Murdoch — vocals, guitars, keyboards
Stevie Jackson — vocals, guitars
Chris Geddes — keyboards
Richard Colburn — drums
Sarah Martin — keyboards, violin, flute, vocals
Mick Cooke — bass guitar, trumpet
Bobby Kildea — guitars, bass guitar

Since being launched on the River Clyde in Glasgow in 1996 the good ship Belle And Sebastian has sailed far and wide on the oceans of international indie‐pop, stockpiling a treasure trove of gold and silver records, a loyal legion of fans and critical kudos by the barrel‐load.

The current line‐up has been in place for more than 10 years, selling over 3 million albums, releasing a dozen singles and playing countless sold‐out concerts around the world. During this period the band also moved from their original label for the UK and Europe, Jeepster ‐ through which they released five studio albums ‐ to Rough Trade.

Moving to Rough Trade cleared the way for the band to collaborate with producer Trevor Horn in 2003 on Dear Catastrophe Waitress, their fourth gold‐selling record after debut Tigermilk (1996) If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996) and The Boy With The Arab Strap (1998). All three singles from the album reached the UK top 20.

Three years later, the band decamped to California to record The Life Pursuit with Beck producer Tony Hoffer, a record that took B&S into the UK album top 10 for the first time and went on to sell more than a half a million copies globally. A key highlight of the touring for the group’s seventh long player was a sold‐out show with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, where they played to an audience of 18,000.

B&S repeated the formula of The Life Pursuit in 2010 with Belle And Sebastian Write About Love, recording in California with Hoffer. Notable guests on the album include Norah Jones and actress Carey Mulligan, a long‐time B&S fan. In the UK, Write About Love equalled its predecessor’s album chart position of number 8.

The latest instalment in the illustrious recording career of Belle And Sebastian comes with the release of The Third Eye Centre in June 2013, a gathering of rarities and B‐sides from the past decade. Then, after touring festivals this summer, the band intend to get straight back into the studio. Look out for more from Scotland’s greatest export in 2014.

Fade is the most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo’s career. Recorded with John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago, it recalls the sonic innovation and lush cohesion of career high points like 1997‘s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000’s …And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, rhythmic shadowplay and shy-eyed orchestral beauty, songfulness and experimentation.

But Fade attains a lyrical universality and hard-won sense of grandeur that’s rare even for this band. It weaves themes of aging, personal tragedy and emotional bonds into a fully-realized whole that recalls career-defining statements like Blood on the Tracks, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, or Al Green’s Call Me.

“Nothing ever stays the same / Nothing’s explained,” the band sing in unison on the reflective opening track “Ohm”. “We try not to lose our hearts / Not to lose our minds.” It’s a straightforward sentiment for a band who prefer private intimation to forceful expression. It makes the song’s resistance to resignation feel that much more earned.

This is the first time Yo La Tengo has collaborated with producer John McEntire, best known for his work in Tortoise as well as for recording such artists as Bright Eyes, Stereolab and Teenage Fanclub. He has helped the band hone a set of songs as multifaceted as they are seamless — flowing from the low-key shimmy of “Well You Better” to the muted motorik kick of “Stupid Things” to the cozy distortion of “Paddle Forward,” and right through to the cagey groove, horns and strings of the gorgeous album closer, “Before We Run,” in which Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan sing “Take me to your distant lonely place / Take me out beyond mistrust.”

Fade’s emotional core sits at its very center with two songs, one sung by Kaplan and one by Hubley. The tender, raw, Kaplan-sung ballad “I’ll Be Around” pivots around a circular guitar figure set against James McNew’s pulsating bassline. The song’s simplicity and starkness stand like a beacon against the emptiness. The following track, “Cornelia and Jane,” features Hubley gently singing, “I hear them whispering, they analyze / But no one knows what’s lost in your eyes / Sending the message that doesn’t get to you / How can we care for you?” supported by whispering cushions of horns and delicate vocal harmonies. The effect is both heartbreaking and reassuring.


Yo La Tengo is one of the most beloved and respected bands in America. For nearly thirty years, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew have enjoyed success entirely on their own terms – playing the world’s best concert halls, museums, and dives, dominating critics’ lists, doing a Simpsons theme, playing the Velvet Underground in “I Shot Andy Warhol,” sharing stages with some of the most important musicians of our time, and even creating a holiday tradition onto themselves with their yearly series of Hanukkah shows at Hoboken, New Jersey’s legendary club Maxwells, from which they’ve donated hundreds of thousands to charity.

$35.00 - $45.00


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