Thursday, June 4, 2009

God Help The Girl

Scotland has produced its fair share of what could be called twee music. From The Bluebells and Aztec Camera, to Altered Images and the uncrowned kings of twee, Orange Juice. Is there something in the Scottish psyche that makes the nation predisposed to creating dainty music? However, the likes of Glasvegas, Simple Minds, Big Country, The Skids or Sensational Alex Harvey Band certainly didn’t fall into that bracket, but over twenty years later it rears its head again.

This time around it’s in the shape of Belle and Sebastian (are they not quite twee themselves though? ) frontman Stuart Murdoch’s God Help The Girl, a 14-track opus featuring multiple singers, two of which Murdoch brought in by staging a competition on iMeem. The competition had four hundred entries and from these Murdoch brought Brittany Stallings and Dina Bankole to Glasgow in February of 2008. Other more established artists came on board too, including Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy and Aysa of the Seattle teen trio Smoosh.

Murdoch also added Catherine Ireton, a friend of a friend who had just moved to Glasgow from Limerick, Ireland. In all nine singers joined the fold of the Belle and Sebastien core, and elements were also recorded in London with a 45 piece orchestra. An ambitious project indeed, but the end result is quite beautiful, if not a little twee. The songs will be used in a musical that’s due to be filmed in 2010.

The fourteen-track album seems to detail the trials of a young woman living in a city of today, while the music harks back to Burt Bacharach, Sandy Shaw, Petula Clark, ‘60s girl groups, ‘80s indie pop and classic pop records in general. This may seem like an unwieldy amalgam, but Murdoch and gang pull it off, crafting a delightful listening experience that will have you pulling out your 45s of “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Son Of A Preacher Man,” “William,” and “Simply Thrilled Honey.” Creative nostalgia and post modern musical devices never sounded so sumptuous and warm. It drops on the 23rd of this month, so have a wee listen when it does.


Click For mp3

No comments: