Belle and Sebastian, How to Solve Our Human Problems, Part 1
A sudden onslaught of December EPs and singles calls for an all-EP column this week, and Glasgow’s pioneers of twee Belle & Sebastian lead the pack by promising to release three successive EPs between now and February. This isn’t the first time Stuart Murdoch and cohorts have gone this route, since they released early Jeepster Records singles in the 1997 box set Lazy Line Painter Jane
. Since bubbly doesn’t sound honest when band members are in their mid-40s, B&S have turned to an assured, expanded sound with the disco-synth touches from the last album, along with more woodwinds and some serious Buddhist contemplation. If Parts 2 and 3 match up to the first installment, we have a winner.
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Camera Obscura, Beck, Arcade Fire