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SPOTLIGHT: Belle & Sebastian.

Ah, Belle & Sebastian. The epitome of an indie band, singing in cutesy tones (on occasion) and still managing to convey a message. Unknown to all but those on the surface of indie-ness (and of course loved by those who’ve managed to swim), Belle & Sebastian are somewhat of a legend, and of course, like all great music, still relevant today.

Belle and Sebastian

An indie pop band formed in Glasgow, Scotland in January 1996, they are one of the best-known Scottish bands and are one of the most celebrated groups of the 1990s. Belle & Sebastian are often compared to influential indie bands such as The Smiths, as well as classic rock acts such as Love, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. The name Belle & Sebastian is inspired by Belle et Sébastien, a children’s book by French writer Cécile Aubry. Lauded by critics, Belle & Sebastian’s “wistful pop” has nevertheless enjoyed only limited commercial success. (wikipedia)

I love the description “wistful pop.” It’s very indicative of exactly what B&S is: something happy, poppy, but sad in the attempt. Does that make sense? They are often featured on movie soundtracks, with a recent example being the much-lauded Juno, but I wonder if they’re on there because they’re happy-sounding, sad-sounding, or that right concoction of both. I hope it’s both.

myspacelast.fm
(from Dear Catastrophe Waitress)
“Wrapped Up In Books”
(from The Life Pursuit)
“Funny Little Frog”
“We Are the Sleepyheads”

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YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO: The Reindeer Section.

March 31, 2009 Leave a comment

The Reindeer Section.
Scottish indie rock band.

Reindeer Section

Founded by Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody in 2001. He describes the band’s sound as “pretty much all very slow, quiet, folky-type stuff. Stuff that I really love listening to, like Low, for example, and Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and all that end of things. It’s sort of inspired by those records rather than by the American rock music that inspired me to start a band in the first place.” The Reindeer Section arose – according to Lightbody – out of a chance get-together of musicians at a Lou Barlow gig in Glasgow in 2001, at which Lightbody drunkenly laid down the challenge to others to “make an album together”, to which everyone said “yeah yeah”. Lightbody “went home and next day wrote the album” and later convinced Johnny Davis of Bright Star to fund a recording session and release the proposed album. The group met over three days of rehearsal and ten days of recording to produce the first album.
(wikipedia)

In addition to Lightbody and some of his Snow Patrol mates, this supergroup has a rotating roster of musicians from such bands as Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, and Idlewild. It keeps with a pattern of slow, moving rock, but it remains affecting anyway.

myspacelast.fm
(off the album Y’all Get Scared Now, Ya Hear!)
“Will You Please Be There for Me”
(off the album Son of Evil Reindeer)
“Cartwheels”
“I’ll Be Here When You Wake”