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Belle and Sebastian to Return With First Studio Album in Seven Years

“We took the proverbial lump of clay, and we threw it every day,” frontman Stuart Murdoch said about the LP, titled A Bit of Previous

Belle and Sebastian’s tenth album is on its way. On Wednesday, the indie-pop group dropped “Unnecessary Drama,” the first single off their first album since 2015, A Bit of Previous, out May 6.

“The song is about a young person experimenting in being a human again after a forced hiatus”, said frontman Stuart Murdoch in a release. “The person is weighing up whether or not it’s worth the mess! Still, you dip your toe in and it becomes delicious, and you get too much of it. Between trouble and nothing, we still choose the trouble.”

The group recorded the album in Glasgow after they had originally planned to fly to Los Angeles to record the album in 2020, but had to scrap those plans due to the pandemic. (“Personally speaking, I probably adapt better than most folk,” Murdoch told Rolling Stone in December 2020.  “I had years of being a sort of pensioner anyway. I got used to that lifestyle of not seeing many people. So I haven’t had anything to complain about.”)

The new record is “often playful” but with “an underlying gravity.” It’s laced with folk-rock tracks and some “occasionally delirious pop moments,” according to a release. “We clocked in every morning, we played our songs, we wrote together, we tried new things, we took the proverbial lump of clay, and we threw it every day,” Murdoch said.

The album title, A Bit of Previous, touches on Buddhism and the belief that “we have been reborn so many times and in so many guises that if we look around us, we are bound to see a person who has been our mother in a past life,” per the record’s liner notes. “If we truly had that in our minds and in our hearts, we would drop the prejudice we had: Our attitude to strangers and difficult people would alter emphatically.”

The group is set to hit the road across the U.S. starting in late May, just weeks after their album releases. They’ll also head back to the United Kingdom in the fall, before touring Europe early next year.

A Bit of Previous‘ Tracklist

1. Young and Stupid
2. If They’re Shooting at You
3. Talk to Me Talk to Me
4. Reclaim the Night
5. Do It for Your Country
6. Prophets on Hold
7. Unnecessary Drama
8. Come on Home
9. A World Without You
10. Deathbed of My Dreams
11. Sea of Sorrow
12. Working Boy in New York City

From Rolling Stone US