If you're a sensitive girl or boy thats gone through puberty in the past twenty years, then you're familiar with Belle & Sebastian
. Their new album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
, is out this week on Matador Records
The title of the album totally encapsulates what this band stands for, they stay true to who they are through and through. Like the lines in "Allie" that go,"When theres bombs in the Middle East you want to hurt yourself/When theres fun in your mothers house you want to cry yourself to sleep." That's it, that's totally it.
It's music that's lifting, while also being a little eerie in its sweetness, which I dig. Consider the line, "Work is a sentence/ Family's a drag/ This house is a trap," in one of the more upbeat songs "Play For Today." It's the smile that, sometimes, you need to just get through the day. This is the stuff they're good at.
They did try some new stuff too. "The Everlasting Muse" is a polka tune that sort of sounds like Beirut
. Then there's the funk beat of "The Party Line," which is a safe bet to play at a get-together if you want to get people bobbing their heads and looking at you like, "right on dude, very chill."
However, there's a quality to this album that makes it feel premeditated, less raw than their earlier stuff. Sure, the opening song, "Nobody's Empire," is a great, classic sounding song with structural maturity, but it's almost a little too perfect. It's so good, it's so pleasant, that it sort of makes me space out. I'd rather a singer whose voice is cracking, but makes me feel something, to work that's pretty but placid. Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
lacks the emotional bite of, say, If Youre Feeling Sinister
. Give me more eeriness. Give me more strangeness. I want to be familiarly surprised.
Get your copy of Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance here
, and watch the video for "The Party Line" below: