Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Belle and Sebastian mark their comeback with one of their rowdiest entries ever.
There’s something about the lucky number seven for Belle and Sebastian lately. The seven-piece act is returning with a new album for the first time in seven years, and their latest single “Unnecessary Drama” is offering the first look. It’s a more boisterous entry from the band, featuring a can’t-miss harmonica riff and propulsive energy.
“The song is about a young person experimenting in being a human again after a forced hiatus,” frontman Stuart Murdoch shared in a statement. That’s not an uncommon theme in art at the moment, but Belle and Sebastian take the idea of returning to life as we once knew it and dig in from a slightly different angle. When all the things that make us human — all the routines, the ways of developing relationships, the communal experiences — are stripped away, what’s really left? “Between trouble and nothing, we still choose the trouble,” Murdoch added.
The group’s upcoming album, titled A Bit of Previous, was initially supposed to be recorded in Los Angeles in the spring of 2020. The pandemic, of course, interrupted that plan, and the act ended up creating the album in their home city of Glasgow, the first time they’ve recorded an LP at home in this way since 1999’s Fold Your Hands, Child.
That’s 23 years. A striking amount of time for any act to still be creating and collaborating, let alone with this much enthusiasm. Perhaps the secret to their longevity is eliminating the unnecessary drama.
— Mary Siroky