Sunday, December 15, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Belle and Sebastian

Artist:Belle and Sebastian f/Monica Queen
Song:Lazy Line Painter Jane
Album:Push Barman To Open Old Wounds

The Scottish group Belle and Sebastian started out as an indie music favourite and critic's darling in the mid-90s. Personnel changes and a label change in the early 00s led to sellout accusations that I see frequently when indie darlings attempt to become more mainstream. They seem to have regained some respect in recent years. This 2CD comp covers some of their early EPs. Belle and Sebastian is named after a 1965 children's book that was turned into a movie and was very popular when it aired on the BBC. There is no one in the band named Belle or Sebastian. The band was formed in Glasgow in 1996 by lead singer and guitarist Stuart Murdoch and bassist Stuart David. They recorded an album produced by Stow College professor Alan Rankine. Rankine was a member of the 70s punk band Associates. The album created enough interest that Murdoch and David expanded Belle and Sebastian by adding Stevie Jackson on guitar, Isobel Campbell on cello, Chris Geddes on keyboards and Richard Colburn on drums. They signed with Jeepster Records and released the 1996 CD If You're Feeling Sinister. It made them a critic's darling. Violinist Sarah Martin was added to the band. Then they released a series of EPs. Lazy Line Painter Jane was one of those EPs. The song features guest vocalist Monica Queen from the 90s band Thrum. it was their first British top 40 single. This 2CD comp repackages the EPs that were released at the time. Their next full length CD The Boy with the Arab Strap in 1998. During the recording of the album, session trumpeter Mick Cooke was added to the band. Belle and Sebastian won the 1999 BRIT Award for Best Newcomer. Stuart David left Belle and Sebastian in 2000 to concentrate on Looper, the band he started with his wife as a side project. He was replaced by Bobby Kildea. While working on the soundtrack for the 2002 Todd Solondz film Storytelling, Belle and Sebastian left Jeepster for Rough Trade and signed a US deal with Matador Records. Isobel Campbell left to go solo in 2002. Their 2003 CD Dear Catastrophe Waitress was produced by Trevor Horn (Yes, The Buggles, Seal) and was a clear attempt to be more commercial. I'm A Cuckoo reached #14 in the UK and was their biggest hit to date. But some fans of their earlier music accused Belle and Sebastian of selling out. They moved to Los Angeles to record the 2006 CD The Life Pursuit and it did well in the UK and the US. Belle and Sebastian continue this success. But I doubt they will ever be mainstream. Their latest CD Belle and Sebastian Write About Love was released in 2010 featuring guest vocalist Norah Jones. They have been raising money for a film and are currently on a European tour. Here's the video for Lazy Line Painter Jane by Belle and Sebastian featuring Monica Queen.

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