In 2010 the world was graced with Belle And Sebastian Write About Love. Five years have gone by and now they’re back with the perfectly crafted Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance. If 2015 is as good to Belle and Sebastian as Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is to its listeners, it will be a good year for B&S.
Opening track Nobody’s Empire encapsulates Belle and Sebastian’s paired down pop sound, with their twinkling-soft melodies and wistful lyrics. A dreamlike quality becomes the foundation of the album, allowing for ephemeral shifts in the sound. The fade-in-intro of The Power Of Three harkens back to Nineties synth pop, bringing the dance element to the album. It’s hard not to ‘jump to the beat of the party line’, even on a crowded train at 8.45am.
The beginning of The Cat With Cream has a faint echo of The Beatles’ Across the Universe. The soulful melancholy of the muffled bass drum underscores the slightly surreal lyrics. Enter Sylvia Plath’s (ironic, perhaps) fast paced electronica ups the dance tempo once again. But perhaps it’s well suited; those brooding over their dog-eared copies of The Bell Jar need to dance too.
There’s something exceptionally light-hearted about Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance and it perfectly encapsulates Belle and Sebastian’s particular brand of indie pop. The Everlasting Dream is just that, with slightly off kilter notes, harmonised together, and haunting quips of guitar riffs, fading into a chorus that evokes the feeling of an old circus show.
They flutter between electronic pop and indie folk, amalgamating them into something inimitably their own. From Perfect Couples‘ cynically dystopian lyrics, to Today (This Army’s For Peace)’s lilting vocals, to the political overtones of Allie; Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is cohesive without being boring, it is political without being polarising, it is upbeat without being sickly. It is simply a perfectly curated album.