Belle & Sebastian haven’t exactly disappeared off the radar these past years (what with hosting festivals, releasing multiple EPs, a film soundtrack, and a fan-collaboration project), so it might be hard to fully appreciate that their newly announced album, A Bit Of Previous, is their first full length in some seven years.
Recorded in Glasgow (after plans to head over to Los Angeles to record the album in spring 2019 were scuppered due to the Covid-19 pandemic), frontman Stuart Murdoch says of their tenth album: “We did it together, us and the city. This record was the first ‘full’ LP recording for B&S in Glasgow since ‘Fold Your Hands Child,’ 1999. We clocked in every morning, we played our songs, we wrote together, we tried new things, we took the proverbial lump of clay, and we threw it every day.”
With the announcement of A Bit Of Previous, the band have also released the lead single, “Unnecessary Drama”. Full of jubilant pop energy and harmonica-led, the track captures Belle & Sebastian in a moment of unfettered delight.
“The song is about a young person experimenting in being a human again after a forced hiatus”, Murdoch explains. “The person is weighing up whether or not it’s worth the mess! Still, you dip your toe in and it becomes delicious, and you get too much of it. Between trouble and nothing, we still choose the trouble.“