Published Apr 02, 2009After a few years of hints, gossip and an internet-wide talent search, Belle and Sebastian's head lad, Stuart Murdoch, has finally wrapped his long-awaited musical project. He's calling it God Help the Girl, and the album is set for release in North American on June 23 via Matador and a day earlier in Europe on Rough Trade.
As previously reported, the record comes as a soundtrack to a supposedly still-in-the-works film and features an array of different singers. Several were discovered by Murdoch in an open call for vocalists back in 2007, including singers Brittany Stallings, Dina Bankole and fellow Scot Catherine Ireton, who leads the bulk of these tracks. And while this record doesn't fall under the Belle and Sebastian banner, several band members do lend a voice or two, as does Murdoch himself, Asya from Smoosh, Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, all of whom sing over a 45-piece orchestra conducted by Withnail & I composer Rick Wentworth.
"I was out for a run and I got this tune in my head, and it occurred to me that it wasn't a Belle and Sebastian song," Murdoch says in a statement. "I could hear female voices and strings, I could hear the whole thing, but I just couldn't envisage myself singing it with the group."
Murdoch goes on to say that all the vocalists taken on certain roles and characters in the musical, explaing: "All the time I was touring with Belle and Sebastian, I was putting aside songs for certain characters, and at one point I realised that it would make sense to string them together to form the backbone of a musical narrative."
And while there is no further word on what's happening with the film component of God Help the Girl, we do have a tracklisting, the teaser track "Come Monday Night" streaming over on MySpace and know that this track will be released as the album's first single on May 11.
Here's the list of songs and whose singing what:
1. "Act of the Apostle" (Catherine Ireton)
2. "God Help The Girl" (Catherine Ireton)
3. "Pretty Eve In The Tub" (Stuart Murdoch and Catherine Ireton)
4. "A Uniﬁed Theory" (Instrumental)
5. "Hiding Neath My Umbrella" (Catherine Ireton and Stuart Murdoch)
6. "Funny Little Frog" (Brittany Stallings)
7. "If You Could Speak" (Catherine Ireton and Anna Miles)
8. "Musician Please Take Heed" (Catherine Ireton)
9. "Perfection as a Hipster" (Neil Hannon and Catherine Ireton)
10. "Come Monday Night" (Catherine Ireton)
11. "Music Room Window" (Instrumental)
12. "I Just Want His Jeans" (Asya)
13. "Iʼll Have To Dance With Cassie" (Catherine Ireton)
14. "A Down and Dusky Blonde" (Dina Bankole, Catherine Ireton, Celia Garcia, Brittany Stallings, Asya)