Trio of EPs Due from Belle and Sebastian
Longtime Belle and Sebastian fans will tell you (whether you ask or not) that the three EPs the Glasgow crew released following 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister represent the chamber pop band’s high water mark. Twenty years on, Stuart Murdoch and friends return to that album interruptus format with How To Solve Our Human Problems, three separate five-song bursts being unveiled in December, January and February.
Human Problems bridges Belle old and new – the familiar monochrome jacket art again features photos of fans as “cover stars” rather than band members themselves. It offers traces of the dancefloor pulse that suffused 2015’s Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance, but also more nods to their early, twee days. Murdoch seems to be in a collaborative mood – the set spans multiple producers, and includes prominent turns from longtime members Stevie Jackson and Sarah Martin.
Today’s Belle and Sebastian are certainly more polished than the days of Tigermilk or Sinister, but Human Problems includes more subdued, stripped-down moments than recent outings. The somewhat more beat-oriented Part One arrives December 9th