Scottish pop-pickers Belle And Sebastian** have been spending a lot of time recently playing down their "twee" tag. Unfortunately, they've not been doing a very good job – their last album, the sublime 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' was chock-a-block with lovely pop melodies and unfailingly twee hooks. To ram home the fact that "we're not twee, honest", they’ve even gone and released the most saccharine track from that album, 'Wrapped Up In Books', as its final single. Ignoring the fact that they now owe Cliff Richard money for a little steal, there's really little to write home about with this track. It's as catchy as you'd expect, but it's nothing new. It's not like they've written the indie Bohemian Rhapsody or anything...
Well fuck me! Look what's cropped up as the second a-side! 'Your Cover's Blown', proclaimed by singer Stuart Murdoch as “The indie 'Bohemian Rhapsody'**, is the moment where B&S not only loosen (but don't entirely free) themselves from the shackles of tweedom, but the moment that Belle And Sebastian embrace the funk. Yes, you heard me right - Belle And Sebastian have embraced the funk. Kicking off as a loose-limbed funky jam, 'Your Cover's Blown' doesn’t exactly live up to Murdoch's promise, but it certainly delivers the goods. It somehow worms its way into a claustrophobic Spanish march about disco-related loneliness ("The DJ's picking up speed – that's something I just don't need, I should have stayed home"), but soon funks it all back up again for the grand finale.
It's a paradox really, isn't it? Belle And Sebastian have coupled one their weaker songs with quite possibly their best since 'The Boy With The Arab Strap'. Whether or not they're now 100% twee-free remains to be seen, but 'Your Cover's Blown' is a bloody good start. The indie 'Bohemian Rhapsody'? For now, it's more like 'Twee Will Rock You' – and we couldn't ask for anything more.
8Alex Wisgard's Score