From my speakers arrives a parcel; egg-shell blue tissue paper encased with a safety belt of grosgrain ribbon and finished with a little fountain of matching threads. A Belle and Sebastian single this is – neatly tied up, self-contained, nearly interchangeable with every other Belle et al single of the past five years. The usual traits are all present – a way with a chord change, an outside perspective, trousers a little too short with socks flashing at the ankle, a knowing wink here and there.
And so, certain things never change, “the black will be grey and the white will be grey”, the blues are still blue, Belle and Sebastian are still B&S. In a way, they are singing the blues, wistful and woebegone observations set to a swinging twelve-bar shuffle. That contrast and balance between low-spirits and a spot of chirpy music that Howlin’ Wolf or T-Bone Walker were peddling back in the post-war years.
Just because this is a continuation of what has been before doesn’t make it useless – that way with a chord change is more apparent here than on most Dear Catastrophe Waitress, there’s a hint of swagger set-off with cowbell. Most of all, Murdoch’s completely un-chronological account of excuses and regrets dodges between the forlorn and the funny (“I got a letter from my Mama which my stupid dog has ate”) much in the way that real life does.
7Rachel Cawley's Score