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Belle and Sebastian How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 EP

Belle and Sebastian — How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 EP (8 Dec 2017)

 Belle and Sebastian — How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 EP (8 Dec 2017)Belle and Sebastian — How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 EP (8 Dec 2017)★λ★•     →     BELLE & SEBASTIAN MAY BE 20 YEARS OLDER, BUT THE BAND STILL FEELS YOUNG. THAT’S THE PROBLEM OF BEING HUMAN. THERE’S NOT A PERSON OVER 40 THAT DOESN’T FEEL 20.
★λ★•     →     A new Belle and Sebastian release is always something to cheer. So three new releases leads to the inevitable conclusion: three cheers! Here is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the rst bands to curate their own festival, and play at the of cial London residence of the US ambassador (the last president’s ambassador, not the current one’s).
★λ★•     →     Murdoch, as ever, is not the only writer. Sarah Martin (violin/ vocals) brought in the delicious ‘The Same Star’, which marries Belle and Sebastian’s melodiousness to a pounding Motown backbeat, and was produced by Leo Abrahams (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts, Regina Spektor). “We’d met Leo in February of 2016, and I’d say that meeting and the recording of ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ were the rst tangible steps of this EP project,” Martin says. “We didn’t have a stack of songs to play him, but we liked him and he became a part of the plan from that point — and when I’d got to a point with ‘The Same Star’ where it just needed to be recorded, I thought it could bene t from having a producer to steer things, and fortunately we had a slot in the diary marked ‘Leo’ coming up. It’s not a song we’d laboured over playing for months — it fell together quite quickly thanks in large part to Bob’s [Bobby Kildea, guitarist] enthusiasm and Stuart’s willingness to dismember an old song and repurpose the break, so that it wasn’t just the same three chords over and over and over.”
★λ★•     →     There’s one big reason why 15 songs are coming out on three EPs, rather than one album. “We’d made a couple of LPs, Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister, within the space of six months,” Murdoch says, remembering the early days of the band’s career, and how that fed into their decision~making this time.Fotka uživatele Ben Tais Amundssen.Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Alternative~Indie Rock, Chamber Pop, Indie Pop, Alternative Singer~Songwriter, Twee Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock
Album release: 8 Dec 2017
Record Label: Matador Records (New York City)
Duration: 26:28 +
Tracks:
‘How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 1’ (Rel. date: 8th December 2017)
1. Sweet Dew Lee     6:29
2. We Were Beautiful     5:38
3. Fickle Season     4:03
4. The Girl Doesn’t Get It     4:49
5. Everything Is Now     5:29
How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 2 (Rel. date: 19th January 2018)
1. Show Me The Sun
2. Same Star
3. I’ll Be Your Pilot
4. Cornflakes
5. A Plague On All Other Boys
How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 3 (Rel. date: 16th February 2018 )
1. Poor Boy
2. Everything Is Now (Part Two)
3. Too Many Tears
4. There Is An Everlasting Song
5. Best Friend
Members:
•★    Richard Colburn
•★    Mick Cooke
•★    Chris Geddes
•★    Stevie Jackson
•★    Bob Kildea
•★    Sarah Martin
•★    Stuart Murdoch
Past Members:
•★    Isobel Campbell
•★    Stuart David
Notes:
★•    The 3x12” boxset is available with two different purchase options. You may buy the set as a subscription which will ship an EP to your door each month, starting with the first EP on December 8th, the second EP on January 19th and the third EP and box + poster on Febraury 16th.
★•    OR you may buy the 3x12” boxset as a complete set, which will ship to arrive on February 16th, 2018.
★•    Alternatively, you may purchase a CD compilation of the 3 EPs, which will also ship to arrive on February 16th, 2018.
Description:
•★    Belle and Sebastian has revealed a new song titled “I’ll Be Your Pilot”, which can be found on EP2.  The single takes as its subject Stuart Murdoch’s young son: “Having your first kid is a huge event, so I wrapped a lot of things I felt about Denny into the song. Being a dad made me feel a little like the pilot in The Little Prince, hence all the references to the Sahara!”
•★    Just as those three early EPs are a crucial part of the Belle and Sebastian canon, these three new releases aren’t merely a detour between albums, but as definitive releases in their own right. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.
•★    When Belle and Sebastian felt new music percolating, they decided to break from the working methods of the recent years and instead stay at home, record the tracks as and when, often producing themselves, working with friends and collaborators to see what emerged. Working in Glasgow gave them the freedom to work without the constraints that making an album can impose: they could take their time honing and experimenting.
•★    One thing that has defined Belle and Sebastian has been their relationship with fans, and that’s apparent in the new EPs. For the three sleeves, the group issued a call to fans to come to be photographed by Murdoch at a studio in Belsize Park in North London. Fifty were selected, and all those photographed were also recorded answering the question: “How do you solve your human problems?”
Review
STEVE HOROWITZ  06 December / Score: 8
★λ★•     →     When Belle & Sebastian were just starting out, they released three EPs, Dog on Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light, over a six~month period that earned them much critical and popular acclaim. These EPs cemented the group’s reputation as the premier twee indie band. The music was charming: effusively soft, self~reflective and fun. The lyrics celebrated innocence lost and found and lost again combined with chamber pop instrumentation that suggested the inherent value of formal feelings. The songs resembled extended sighs during a crass commercial era of Spice Girls, R Kelly, and boy band manufactured naïveté.
★λ★•     →     Twenty years later Belle & Sebastian are at it again. This month they’ve released the first of three new EPs under the collective title How to Solve Our Human Problems. After a series of musical detours, individual projects, changes in group members and such, Stuart Murdoch and company have returned to the original sound that made them famous. The first five songs could be mistaken for unreleased tracks from an earlier era, but they are a bit more knowing. Or as Murdoch sings on the first track, “Swee Dew Lee”: “I didn’t think after 20 years / I’d be right back in the self~same places.” There may be a bit more self~awareness, but the songs’ personae are no wiser than the prescient narrators were before.
★λ★•     →     So when Murdoch recollects the past on “We Were Beautiful”, he understands that he was always clueless. That left him and his friends open to new experiences before time turned everything upside down. Yes, they have changed, but he reminds us that they are not too old to change again. He delivers the message in a whispery voice over an insistent percussive beat and a recurrent brass fanfare. One is forever young no matter how old one gets.
★λ★•     →     This theme is reiterated on the other tracks, albeit in different clothes. “The Girl Doesn’t Get It” concerns the ever~present myth that there is one perfect person for each of us. Murdoch mocks the sentiment even as he yearns to believe it. People and their feelings can change so easily. Life passes by. Today’s headlines suggest problems one never predicted. Yet, one can still find love in a supermarket. Even compared with the growth of the internet and the status of immigrant refugees, love continues to stand out as a true miracle.
★λ★•     →     Violinist Sarah Martin takes over the lead vocals on “Fickle Season” and quietly evokes the same sentiment. Birds know when to fly south, and lovers understand when to move on. The rhythms of life seem so natural. It’s always the time of the season for love, as the Zombies used to sing. Seasons may change, but they circle back again. Love may be capricious, but desire is a constant.
★λ★•     →     The EP’s mostly instrumental last song, “Everything is Now” begins and ends with the title phrase. It’s followed by the phrase, “Everything is different, now”. The lead organ gives the music a churchy feel. It’s a sermon on acceptance. Near the very end of the song, they sneak in the line “Everything is indifferent, now” suggesting age has worn them down. But Belle & Sebastian still worship at the altar of love. Belle & Sebastian may be 20 years older, but the band still feels young. That’s the problem of being human. There’s not a person over 40 that doesn’t feel 20. There’s no getting over age. The only solution is to be aware of the changes and celebrate.
★λ★•     →     https://www.popmatters.com/
Label: http://store.matadorrecords.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bellesglasgow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/belleandsebastian/
Website: https://belleandsebastian.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bellesglasgow/
ABOUT
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
★λ★•     →     A new Belle and Sebastian release is always something to cheer. So three new releases leads to the inevitable conclusion: three cheers! Here is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the official London residence of the US ambassador (the last president’s ambassador, not the current one’s).
★λ★•     →     “My capacity to be delighted by pop music has not waned,” Stuart Murdoch — lead singer, main songwriter, player of piano and guitar — says. His love of pop is conveyed by the fact that Belle and Sebastian’s new music has the timeless blend of joy and melancholy that has always characterised them. What has changed is how the group want their music to be released. Over the coming months, Belle and Sebastian will gift the world a double album’s worth of music — richly melodic, deliciously literate, as gentle as a summer stream but as insistent as a river — but they won’t do it by releasing an album. Instead, there will be three EPs, under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human Problems.
★λ★•     →     “We’d made a couple of LPs, Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister, within the space of six months,” Murdoch says, remembering the early days of the band’s career, and how that fed into their decision~making this time. “I thought somebody was going to take the keys to the studio away, and I wanted to record as many songs as I could. I remembered the Smiths talking about how important non~album singles were to them, so we thought: ‘Why don’t we record a bunch of songs and then pick three A~sides and rally around those.” The results were the EPs Dog on Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light EPs.
★λ★•     →     So when Belle and Sebastian felt new music percolating within them, they decided to break from the working methods of the recent years and instead stay at home, record the tracks as and when, often producing themselves, working with friends and collaborators to see what emerged. Working in Glasgow gave them the freedom to work without the constraints that making an album can impose: they could take their time honing and experimenting.
★λ★•     →     Just as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.
★λ★•     →     The lead tracks for the EPs work in their different ways. ‘We Were Beautiful’ is built around a drumbeat Murdoch imagined, with semi spoken~word verses over melancholic synths and pedal steel, and a Peter Hookesque bassline. And, as Murdoch self~effacingly puts it, “a vague chorus”. It’s not a vague chorus: it’s a big, bold chorus.
★λ★•     →     ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ is one for the old guard, the essence of the groups dedicated attention to melody (“If there was a line where you could describe our work as challenging, this is on the non~challenging side,” says Murdoch, never a man to knowingly oversell his work), and taking as its subject Murdoch’s young son: “Having your first kid is a huge event, so I wrapped a lot of things I felt about Denny into the song. Being a dad made me feel a little like the pilot in The Little Prince, hence all the references to the Sahara!”
★λ★•     →     The third “single”, ‘Poor Boy’, is the most unusual: as close as Belle and Sebastian will ever come to slinky, 80s R&B. “At the last minute we had the chance to work with Inflo [who produced Michael Kiwanuka’s acclaimed Love & Hate],” Murdoch says. “I wasn’t sure getting into bed with someone new at that point in the project would be helpful, but he came up to Glasgow, and we had a lot of fun together”. The result is, flatly, wonderful: recognisably Belle and Sebastian, but pushed into new shapes, configured in a new way. Inflo also worked ‘Show Me the Sun’, which isn’t quite so much of a sidestep, but still propels Belle and Sebastian gently towards the dancefloor.
★λ★•     →     Murdoch, as ever, is not the only writer. Sarah Martin (violin/vocals) brought in the delicious ‘The Same Star’, which marries Belle and Sebastian’s melodiousness to a pounding Motown backbeat, and was produced by Leo Abrahams (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts, Regina Spektor). “It fell together quite quickly,” says Martin, “thanks in large part to Bob’s [Bobby Kildea, guitarist] enthusiasm and Stuart’s willingness to dismember an old song and repurpose the break, so that it wasn’t just the same three chords over and over and over.”
★λ★•     →     The multi~part ‘Cornflakes’, which traverses 60’s psychedelia and ecstatic, funk~infused doo~wop, came from Stevie Jackson (guitar/vocals). He cites, cryptically, a range of inspirations for the song: “Getting a whiff of Nancy Whiskey O whilst chatting to the queen of Australia and lifting chords from Frank Sinatra. Sumner, Valli and Collins get the karaoke treatment in quick session, without winning any prizes. Synthetic train music recorded at the Green Door Glasgow who are very talented and gracious people.”
★λ★•     →     One thing that has defined Belle and Sebastian has been their relationship with fans, and that’s apparent in the new EPs. For the three sleeves, the group issued a call to fans to come to be photographed by Murdoch at a studio in Belsize Park in north London. Fifty were selected, and all those photographed were also recorded answering the question: “How do you solve your human problems?”
★λ★•     →     These days, Murdoch accepts, the band’s relationship with their fans is “very comfortable”. They’re now seeing a second generation — the children of their original fans, kids who’ve found them as the internet has opened up the whole of pop history. But in the past few years, he has started thinking about his own responsibilities to those fans. “I do feel it’s not just about the music anymore, and it shouldn’t be. You have this platform to spread good vibrations. Life is short! What are we doing here? Are we becoming better people?”
★λ★•     →     So, in these troubled times, what does that mean? Making pronouncements from the stage and in song? No, Murdoch says, even though Belle and Sebastian have always been a de facto “political” band simply through their fierce independence and DIY ethic. “It’s so easy to get up and condemn this politician or that act. But now I have this intrinsic notion that anger is a bad thing. So how do you respond to what’s happening in the world? What’s happening in the world has always happened. There’s always been cause to be angry. So let’s consider not being angry. And I find myself saying these things on stage in front of people, and flowing with a certain amount of lucidity.”
★λ★•     →     There’s nothing wrong with gentleness, is there? It shouldn’t be confused with passivity.
★λ★•     →     “I would agree. It would be easy to give up that gentleness, ’cos on the surface it has brought us nothing but bootings from the man~in~the~street. Our records never leap out at you. But, in time, you hope some people would quietly be able to lean on those records.”
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Belle and Sebastian How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 EP

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