Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

by Belle and SebastianBelle and Sebastian


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Irony abounds in the title of Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, the ninth album by the Scottish collective Belle & Sebastian. It goes unstated that the record was released in an atmosphere not quite synonymous with peace, but the group unquestionably want to dance, spending nearly half of this lengthy record grooving to a neo-disco beat. To approximate the pulse of a mirror ball, Belle & Sebastian hired Ben H Allen, a producer best known for his work with the modern psychedelic troupes Animal Collective and Washed Out, a decided shift away from the exquisitely sculpted miniatures that populated B&S' two records with Tony Hoffer, particularly Write About Love. If that 2010 album found the band embracing their eccentricities and taking the time to whittle their quirks down to their basic elements, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance finds the group stretching way out, twice taking as long as seven minutes to complete a cut and only once flirting with the three-minute mark. Surely, the grandest formal experiments are the longest tracks -- "Enter Sylvia Path" plays like a slyly decadent 12" mix and "Play for Today," featuring Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls, is a duet with de facto leader Stuart Murdoch -- but even the relatively concise "The Party Line" bears a heavy four-four thump, and "Perfect Couples" percolates with polyrhythms previously unheard on Belle & Sebastian's records. Next to these brazen departures lie a few songs where flashy production tricks are grafted upon pleasingly familiar B&S forms (the hard swing and fuzz of "Allie," the analog whine on "The Power of Three," the Motown bounce of "The Book of You'), along with reassuringly meditative ballads and the remarkable "The Everlasting Muse," which takes a sharp left turn from jazz to woozy folk. This is the sound of a band that's growing fearless in middle age, and while the record occasionally does drag -- all those long songs push it over an hour, but the sequencing makes it feel even longer -- there's also a thrill hearing a band unafraid to stumble.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/20/2015
Label: Matador Records
UPC: 0744861105626
catalogNumber: 11056
Rank: 158113

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Belle and Sebastian   Primary Artist
Alfreda Gerald   Background Vocals
Joe Gransden   Trumpet
Jesse Peterson   Violin
Kevin Hyde   Trombone
Natasha Evans   Background Vocals
Tanya Smith   Background Vocals
Will Scruggs   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Dave McGowan   Bass
Dan Lawonn   Cello
Josh Misner   Violin
Erica Burton   Viola
Laurels String Quartet   Strings
Ben H. Allen   Synthesizer,Percussion
Dee Dee Penny   Vocals
Charles Antonio Hightower   Background Vocals
Jesse Peterson   Violin

Technical Credits

Andy Thompson   Engineer,String Arrangements
Marisa Privitera   Photo Assistance
Jason Kingsland   Engineer
Ben H. Allen   Programming,Producer
Sarah Swire   Cover Model
Bo Bodnar   Engineer
Katharine Heath   Illustrations
Emma Howlett   Sleeve Design
Danny Gallacher   Cover Model
Adrian Lobb   Cover Model
William Watt   Cover Model
Tamzin Merchant   Cover Model
Suzie Beith   Photo Assistance
Summer Jones   Engineer

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