Belle and Sebastian hit the ground running in 2023 with new album Late Developers, released this Friday, January 13th.
Arriving almost back-to-back to 2022’s Top Ten album ‘A Bit of Previous’, ‘Late Developers’ comes on like its predecessor’s sun-kissed cousin. It is a full-hearted embrace of the band’s brightest tendencies that is not only fresh and immediate but possessing of that Belle and Sebastian je ne sais quoi of a group that will always be there for you with the perfect word or melody for the moment, while admitting tunefully that “Every girl and boy / each one is a misery” (“When The Cynics Stare Back From The Wall”).
“Juliet Naked” channels frantic Billy Bragg-energy with rugged electric guitar and a football stadium worthy chant from Stuart Murdoch. The aforementioned “When The Cynics Stare Back From The Wall” is an unearthed 1994-era pre-Belle and Sebastian gem, with help from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell. “So In The Moment” is breathless psychedelic pop that is arguably one of Stevie Jackson’s best ever songs. “When We Were Very Young” is Smiths-esque jangle rock that is bittersweet, devotional and yearning: “I wish I could be content / With the football scores / I wish I could be content with my daily chores / With my daily worship of the sublime”.