The veteran English indie-pop band, Belle & Sebastian, is back for their ninth album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. After listening from beginning to end, the enjoyable hour of recorded music throughout the album carries with it strong and upbeat rhythms to make for a playful and folk-rooted pop album. Their songwriting style is still well above most standards, as the album features traditionally longer songs, allowing each track to spread its musical wings and grow into itself.
“Nobody’s Empire” and “Perfect Couples” summarize the album really well as just solid indie dance style songs. “Allie” brings back themes of late 60s flower child music, especially with the underlying flute. The album quickly makes a sharp left with “The Party Line” and “Enter Sylvia Plath,” and turns things into an indie dance party. “Enter Sylvia Plath” especially turns the heat up with its seven minutes of rapid, pulsating kick beat that does nothing except make your hips start moving like they were meant to. Going straight from there to the coffee-house preferred “The Everlasting Muse” really showcases the band’s songwriting versatility of changing gears on a dime, yet they still make the transition flawlessly.
The core of the band’s sound has always been that folk/singer-songwriter style, so it’s no surprise that the shining star on the album is “Ever Had A Little Faith,” the campfire ballad showcasing Stuart Murdach’s smooth and calming Nick Drake-esque vocals. Even Sarah Martin makes a lovely appearance complimenting Murdach’s vocals on “Play For Today” and “The Book of You.”
Whiskey Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Shots
Article: Tommy Shackleford