Last year, Belle and Sebastian closed the book on the last decade or so by unearthing a heap of rarities for The Third Eye Centre. Now the Glaswegian indie pop icons are moving onto the next phase by releasing their latest LP. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is due out on January 20 through Matador, and it's available to stream now on Exclaim.ca.
At times, the album represents a new frontier for Belle and Sebastian: "The Party Line" and "Enter Sylvia Plath" each showcase a sparkling, synth-driven pulse, sounding a like the distant cousins of the band's early experiment "Electric Renaissance." With the possible exception of "Your Cover's Blown," the band have never sounded this slick and danceable.
The synths frequently return throughout the album, while "Perfect Couples" is anchored by a percussive tropical clatter and the echoing "Today (This Army's for Peace)" makes a woozy, atmospheric closer. There are still some of the band's signature sensitive ballads, but a lot has changed for these twee underdogs in the past two decades.
Hear it all below, then read our new interview with frontman Stuart Murdoch here.