Belle and Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
Belle and Sebastian is band that sometimes slips under the radar, but actually has a pretty successful track record. With a dedicated fan base of varying ages and fairly consistent praise from critics, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is their ninth studio album since 1996 and comes after a significant break. Their last album Write About Love was released in 2010, and the five-year gap has certainly proved productive. This is probably the most modern sounding album they’ve ever produced – but fear not, fans of the classic Belle and Sebastian style, as it’s still very much alive.
As you’d expect from any new release from a well-established band, this album sees the group experimenting with some new sounds and mixing them in with their own signature style. The lead single of The Party of Line has a great dance/techno feel to it with an excellent rhythm, with Stuart Murdoch’s recognisable vocals immediately linking the song to older tracks fans will know and love. The Power of Three sees Stevie Jackson takes a turn on the lead vocals for a charmingly witty track about trios, and Enter Sylvia Plath isn’t the melancholy song it sounds like, actually turning out pretty upbeat and epic. In general, the whole album is a pleasant surprise, proving that the group still very much own their musical talent. While some bands that have been around for almost two decades may have become a little stale or repetitive by album nine, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is cohesive, sophisticated and smart, and will hopefully gain Belle and Sebastian a whole new group of listeners while pleasing their current ones.
Some fans may be unsure about the slight change in sound for this album, but it’s a refreshing development in the journey of Belle and Sebastian’s music and sits well among modern popular music. Any group of people that have been making music for as long as Belle and Sebastian have are bound to change their sound as they mature, and this band have done it while retaining their musical integrity and recognisable sound.
Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is released on 19th January 2015, for further information or to pre-order the album visit here.
Watch the video for The Party Line here: