Music Review: Belle and Sebastian – Days of the Bagnold Summer

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Belle and Sebastian

Days of the Bagnold Summer

[Matador; 2019]

Rating: 2.5/5

If it weren’t for the film’s IMDb page and a single teaser clip posted to YouTube, it’d be easy to mistake Days of the Bagnold Summer for another proper full-length entry in Belle and Sebastian’s discography. Even the monochrome, vacant-eyed portraiture on its sleeve fits uniformly into the Scottish band’s catalogue, while the forthcoming indie flick’s synopsis reads like one of the short stories frontman Stuart Murdoch slips into his liner notes.

Bagnold, based on Joff Winterhart’s 2012 graphic novel, is a slice-of-life piece about a listless teenage metalhead and his anxious single mother; settings include libraries, shoe stores, and diners. Could there be a more quintessentially Belle and Sebastian concept? The Belle-verse is rife with horny teenage layabouts with lofty ambitions and a lack of motivation. In lyric form and likely on screen (the movie gets its wide release in 2020), Daniel Bagnold is no outlier, save for his decidedly non-twee appearance.

Days of the Bagnold Summer is Belle and Sebastian’s second crack at a movie score, following Todd Solondz’s 2001 film Storytelling. The former arrives amid a saturated market for movie/album tie-ins “inspired by” their source material, many of them dreadful and forced. Did Billie Eilish or Beck really offer any supplementary understanding to Roma? Does anyone want to listen to Rick Ross fumble through Suicide Squad references over Skrillex production? The answer is no on each count.

Luckily, the connection between the Belles’ interpretation of the Bagnold Summer and director Simon Bird’s is not so loose. Blending instrumental scores with the band’s more traditional fare, comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel’s work on The Graduate are inevitable (and conveniently referenced in the soundtrack’s promotional one-sheet). I’ll raise the stakes and say that the Bagnold soundtrack is overall a more listenable experience than The Graduate’s — Bagnold’ s instrumental filler, which exists in a Venn diagram overlap between Real Estate deep cuts and the Napoleon Dynamite score, is infinitely more pleasant background music than Dave Grusin’s martini-soaked lounge dreck, which bookend Paul Simon’s best-loved hits.

The new lyrical offerings here are solid, especially in the soundtrack’s first half. “I’ll Keep It Inside” and “Safety Valve” are charming returns to early form, swimming in reverb and adolescent transgression. “Did the Day Go Just Like You Wanted,” with its throbbing brass section, is one of the better literal retellings of a film synopsis this side of Christopher Cross’s theme for Arthur.

Bagnold’s sterile production, however, doesn’t conjure the same snuggly warmth of records like If You’re Feeling Sinister, which becomes abundantly clear when a re-recorded version of “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying” sounds dishearteningly skeletal in comparison to its 1996 predecessor, brimming with misplaced optimism and vintage pop grit. On the heels of the genre-splicing How to Solve Our Human Problems EP series, a late-career breakthrough that incorporates drum-and-bass breaks and synth-pop melodies, there’s a sense that Belle and Sebastian played the score a little safely, save for the sparkling baroque-pop standout “Sister Buddha.”

Of course, that’s likely an intentional decision. In the context of the movie, I foresee the beloved tropes of Belle and Sebastian’s first three or four records triggering the growing pains and teen angst I so associate them with. Divorced from that concept, though, Days of the Bagnold Summer plays like a b-sides compilation with a few cuts worth revisiting. Like the Storytelling OST, this one’s strictly for the heads.

Belle & Sebastian – “This Letter”

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Next week, Belle & Sebastian are releasing their soundtrack for Days Of The Bagnold Summer. The movie, which was directed by The Inbetweeners’ Simon Bird and is adapated from a Joff Winterhart graphic novel, is set to come out in 2020. They’ve been attached to the film since last year and have shared … More »

Belle and Sebastian to release Days of The Bagnold Summer soundtrack

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One always wants to grow their career opportunities by taking on things different to, but also like, their current job. That’s why I’ve been working on a screenplay apart from my lucrative news writing gig here at the mighty TMT. To give you the basic plot, it’s about a truck driver who woos a country singer and fights bare-knuckle brawls egged on by his orangutan… wait, oh damn you Any Which Way But Loose!

I’ll leave this sort of cross-training handicraft to the experts, like Belle and Sebastian. Not content with being one of the most beloved bands on the planet, the troupe will venture into strange soundtrack land when they release its OST for Days of The Bagnold Summer on September 13 through Matador.

Days of The Bagnold Summer is the feature directorial debut from Simon Bird, star of sitcom The Inbetweeners, and it’s adapted from Joff Winterhart’s coming-of-age graphic novel about a 15-year-old heavy metal fan spending his summer holidays with his 52-year-old mother, Sue.

All soundtracks are new except for reworkings of two Belle and Sebastian golden oldies: the gorgeous “I Know Where the Summer Goes” from the This Is Just a Modern Rock Song EP and If You’re Feeling Sinister’s highlight “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying.” And there’s also “Safety Valve,” a Stuart Murdoch track that predates the formation of Belle and Sebastian. You can hear those gems when you get the album in September, but you can hear one new song now below, the superb single, “Sister Buddah.”

The sextet is on the road now. All dates are listed below, including The Boaty Weekender Mediterranean cruise that will feature shipshape sets by the hosts, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura, Yo La Tengo, Django Django, Japanese Breakfast, Alvvays, Buzzcocks, The Vaselines, and more. I know someone going to this and have made it clear that if he does not wipe the shuffleboard floor with Mr. Murdoch, he is not to return. Hmm, maybe I should branch out and get work as a tentative bully rather than a terrible screenwriter?

Days of The Bagnold Summer tracklisting:

01. Sister Buddha (Intro)
02. I Know Where the Summer Goes
03. Did the Day Go Just Like You Wanted?
04. Jill Pole
05. I’ll Keep It Inside
06. Safety Valve
07. The Colour’s Gonna Run
08. Another Day, Another Night
09. Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying
10. Wait and See What the Day Holds
11. Sister Buddha
12. This Letter
13. We Were Never Glorious

Belle and Sebastian tour dates:

07.10.19 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
07.11.19 – Charlottesville, VA – Sprint Pavilion $
07.12.19 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer $
07.13.19 – Boston, MA – House of Blues $
07.15.19 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
07.16.19 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall #
07.18.19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Music Hall
07.19.19 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues #
07.20.19 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
07.21.19 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre #
07.23.19 – Apple Valley, MN – Weesner Family Amphitheater
07.25.19 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Music Festival
11.01.19 – Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
11.02.19 – Mérignac, France – Krakatoa
11.03.19 – Toulouse, France – Le Bikini
11.04.19 – Pamplona, Spain – Auditorio Balaurte
11.06.19 – Lisbon, Portugal – Aula Magma

$ with Ex Hex
# with Men I Trust

Belle & Sebastian – “Sister Buddha” Video

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Belle And Sebastian - "Sister Buddha"Belle & Sebastian have quite a busy year ahead of them. They’ve announced a string of tour dates, including a stop at the Pitchfork Music Festival next month in Chicago where they’ll play If You’re Feeling Sinister in full. In August, their boat cruise the Boaty Weekender sets sail from … More »

Belle & Sebastian Scoring New Simon Bird Comedy Film

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Belle & SebastianScottish indie-pop legends Belle & Sebastian are scoring Days Of The Bagnold Summer, the upcoming feature-length directorial debut from The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird. Deadline reports that the film, which wrapped shooting last Friday, is a coming-of-age comedy about a heavy metal-loving 15-year-old forced to spend all summer with his mom when his … More »

The Boy With The Arab Strap Turns 20

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Belle-And-Sebastian-The-Boy-With-The-Arab-StrapMystique is a funny thing. When Belle And Sebastian first found their audience, a few years after they’d honed their sound in Glaswegian classrooms and practice spaces, the mystique was a huge selling point. Here was this group of mysterious Scottish people who made impossibly pretty folk-pop songs about being cripplingly shy and about looking … More »

Belle & Sebastian Announce Boaty Weekender Cruise Lineup With Mogwai, Japanese Breakfast, Alvvays, & More

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Belle & SebastianThe Belle & Sebastian cruise is really happening. As of today, it even has a lineup. More »

Belle And Sebastian Announce Cruise

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After nine successful studio albums, Belle And Sebastian have decided to try their hand at something new: the vacation industry. The legendary Scottish indie outfit are setting sail next August with The Boaty Weekender, a four-day cruise and music festival that will travel from Barcelona to Sardina and back. Hopefully they don’t forgetMore »

Belle and Sebastian share new video and announce June tour of the United States, enabling me to type the word “Glaswegian” several times

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Any day I get to type the word “Glaswegian” into the ol’ CMS here at Tiny Mix Tapes is a good one, so I’m just pleased as a punch in the gut to tell you about Belle & Sebastian’s upcoming tour of the United States. The group, hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, is made up of several Glaswegians, because that’s what you call people from Glasgow, Scotland. The Glaswegians in the legendary indie pop group have been making Glaswegian style indie pop for over 20 years, and they’re showing no sign of stopping. In fact they’ve just released the third in a series of EPs entitled How to Solve Our Human Problems, and they’ve even shared a new video for the single “Poor Boy,” which you can view down below.

I bet you’re thinking that it can’t get any better or more Glaswegian, but I’m here to tell you that it can. Remember that tour I introduced in the first paragraph but then never provided details about? Well those dates are below! They’re currently traipsing across Europe and will join us non-Glaswegians here in the U.S. starting in June. Make way!


Glaswegian tour dates:

05.25.18 – Glasgow, UK – Galvanizers Yard

Non-Glaswegian tour dates:

03.22.18 – Gateshead, UK – Sage Gateshead
03.23.18 – Perth, Scotland – Perth Concert Hall
03.24.18 – Edinburgh, Scotland – Usher Hall
03.26.18 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar St
03.27.18 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar St
05.02.18 – Perth, Australia – Astor Theatre
05.04.18 – St. Kilda, Australia – Palais Theatre
05.05.18 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House
05.07.18 – Brisbane, Australia – Tivoli
05.30.18 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
06.05.18 – Portland, ME – State Theatre *
06.06.18 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall *
06.08.18 – Queens, NY – Forest Hills Stadium #
06.09.18 – Washington, DC – The Anthem $
06.10.18 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle $
06.11.18 – New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre $
06.14.18 – Mexico City, Mexico – venue TBA
06.16.18 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater $
06.17.18 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory $
06.19.18 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theater ^
06.20.18 – Sundance, UT – Sundance Amphitheater ^
06.22.18 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park ^
06.23.18 – Pasadena, CA – Arroyo Seco Weekend ^
06.25.18 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater ^
06.28.18 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre ^
06.29.18 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre ^
06.30.18 – Portland, OR – Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre ^
07.29.18 – Spain – Benicàssim Festival
08.01.18 – Germany, Luhmühlen – A Summer’s Tale Festival

* Snail Mail
# Perfume Genius, Frankie Cosmos
$ Men I Trust
^ Japanese Breakfast

Belle & Sebastian – “Poor Boy” Video

This post was originally published on this site

Over the past few months, Scottish indie-pop heroes Belle & Sebastian released a trio of new EPs entitled How To Solve Our Human Problems, their first new material since 2015’s Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance. And today, they’re back with a music video for “Poor Boy,” a track from the trilogy’s third and … More »