That Belle and Sebastian is releasing a second album in less than a year is surprising: in the past two decades, three, four, five and even seven years have passed between two new records.
We are a little less surprised when we learn that Late Developers comes from the same sessions as A Bit of Previous. Offering two albums rather than a double is also a sensible decision at a time when many artists no longer dare to offer works that exceed the 45-minute mark.
The link between A Bit of Previous and Late Developers gets along. The second, however, turns out to be even more scintillating than the disc released in 2022, a little less folk and also more fully accepts its sometimes almost soulful pop desires. The chamber folk background that made the group famous in the late 1990s can still be heard here and there, but the Scottish collective above all displays its affection for glossy pop (it doesn’t sound like the Byrds nor like the Beach Boys, but it’s there somewhere), always wrapped in a delicacy marked by spleen.
We won’t go so far as to say that Late Developers is an adventurous disc. However, Belle and Sebastian show a desire to get out of their comfort zone by trying out new sounds (I Don’t Know What You See in Me, almost synth pop) behind Stuart Murdoch’s observations and doubts. With his usual elegance.
Belle and Sebastian will be in America for concerts in the spring. Montreal not appearing on the itinerary of the Scots, it will be necessary to go to Ottawa or Burlington, Vermont, to hear them.
Belle and Sebastian