Belle and Sebastian has always imbued its music with a playful streak, which will continue Friday (Jan. 13) when the long-running Scottish indie rock outfit surprise releases its next Matador album, Late Developers. The project arrives quickly on the heels of last May’s A Bit of Previous, which was Belle and Sebastian’s first album in seven years.
Both LPs were recorded during the same sessions, and Late Developers, which can be pre-ordered here, offers much of the same charming pop aura of its predecessor. The lead single, “I Don’t Know What You See In Me,” is out today and is the first Belle and Sebastian song to feature a co-writer: fellow Glasgow pop composer Wuh Oh (real name: Peter Ferguson).
“I was bicycling across Scotland last summer, listening to a mix of this song. It was written and produced for us by our friend Pete ‘Wuh Oh’ Ferguson. As I listened to it, I felt lucky to be the first person to get to sing this song,” shares Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. “I let my voice swoop and soar in ways that it maybe hasn’t before. And as I continued through fields of gold and green I allowed myself to forget it was Belle and Sebastian, and pretend it was the latest hit on some random radio station. All music is escape, and perhaps we managed to escape a little further than usual with this unexpected tune. Thanks Pete!”
Late Developers will also feature the song “When the Cynics Stare Back From the Wall,” an unearthed vault track from a period in 1994 when Murdoch and former member Stuart David were beginning to lay the groundwork for the Belle and Sebastian fans have come to adore. It has been revamped here with assistance from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell.
Belle and Sebastian will tour in support of Late Developers this year, including a handful of U.S. shows in April and May. Beyond the new music, the group also released the song “If They’re Shooting at You” last year in support of victims of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Belle and Sebastian’s Late Developers tracklist:
‘Give a Little Time’
‘When We Were Very Young’
‘Will I Tell You a Secret’
‘So in the Moment’
‘The Evening Star’
‘When You’re Not With Me’
‘I Don’t Know What You See in Me’
‘Do You Follow’
‘When the Cynics Stare Back From the Wall’