30 November 2005

belle & sebastian - "another sunny day" (from the life pursuit lp, available for purchase soon.)

"another sunny day" is the most retrogressive track on an album that makes progress by drawing influence from the past, namely from the midnight special and am gold. this period seems precisely chosen b/c it marks a time when all of the perceived influences of belle & sebastian have either broken up, or haven't yet formed. what makes "another sunny day" unique, then, is that it sounds like belle & sebastian of days past--in particular, in sounds like, yes, another sunny day.

"another sunny day" is, as far as i know, the first time belle & sebastian have named a song after a band--no, "the boy with the arab strap" doesn't count--instead of just referencing them in the liners or paying homage to them through the music. they do the latter here also; the sheer amount of guitars approaches "you should all be murdered," though the lack of an electric guitar is notable though hardly shocking. the lack of animus, too, separates them from asd, its spirit more in line w/ that band's "i'm in love with a girl who doesn't know i exist."

my favorite belle & sebastian songs ("slow grafitti," "if she wants me") have stuart singing in a high pitch; the higher he sings, the more keening and poignant his voice becomes; an ironic tone becomes difficult to maintain when one has to worry about just hitting the notes. such a tone is put to good use here, as each stanza presents a snapshot of a moment in a courtship. in the last, he sings, "so what went wrong, it was a lie, it crumbled apart," and his voice appropriately crumbles. it's a four seasons sort of a song--the weather, not the band--and though it ends stormily, one feels assured that another sunny day is as inevitable as the vernal equinox and as close at hand as the "repeat" button.

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