Pre-nups and preludes – an intro to a review of Bat for Lashes’ The Bride – 10/7/16

I tend to only write about albums I really love, because, quite frankly, I feel it is worth my time to do so. When I get to a time in my life where I have a spare hot second in the day to write reviews upon reviews upon reviews, only then will I critique things that don’t quench my musical thirst at first – but only then. Anyway, I’ve loved Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan since I was a bat-wing-jumper-wearing, bright-red-hair-donning, teenage witch, so I was already excited about this album from its point of announcement.

It was therefore paramount that I caught her set at Glastonbury last weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much, which is strange because she played at 4pm on Sunday and I’m quite sure I’d only had around five ciders by then. Having five ciders on any other Sunday would make one very drunk, but somehow by Glastonbury’s standards, it seems almost crude to admit not remembering a set after five ciders. All I clearly remember from her set is the dress she wore, which made her look like a dead movie star, and the Virgin Mary iconography on display during ‘Sunday Love’, because: Catholic guilt.

I remember crying during ‘Laura’, a well-known, mass-heartstring-pulling single off her last record, The Haunted Man, because the last time I heard her perform that same song was at Latitude Festival in 2013, where she was playing it live for the first time. In attendance was my friend Rosie, and tears were shed as NK sang it – there are few songs quite so pure-sounding as Laura. It really got to me at Glastonbury because I’d had five ciders that day, it was raining, and the song has been a safety blanket over the past few years, which have been turbulent at times, and eventful at best. Anyway, there I was sobbing, wimpering at this song, when this woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was alright.

“Yes!”, I said. “It’s just this music. I am in love with this music. I am crying!”

“Yes”, she replied, looking kinda pissed off. “I know. They’re my favourite band too” – as if to say, “Can you please stop drunkenly mewling in front of me, I like this band better than you”, which I can only contest with, being so moved by this set to the point of howling on my knees in the mud, while my friend bopped along to ELO 400 metres away.  
Anyway, it’s fair to say that the general consensus of reviews for this record is that it is an excellent one, perhaps one of the best of the year, so my fangirl-influenced adjectives aren’t unjustifiably hyperbolic. 

Read my review of it by clicking the word here: Here.

~Drop a pill and then say hello~ A boring and serious review of Belle & Sebastian’s debut album, TIGERMILK.

Some things I have done today:

  1. Fixed the punctures on my bike. Dad was like you won’t be able to see the puncture, you’ll have to pump it up, put it in water…AND THEN WE SEE A PUNCTURE THE SIZE OF A 50P PIECE. I know how to fuck shit UP!
  2. Bought Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane on CD. (The Bowie post will come soon I promise.)
  3. Listened to Tigermilk- Belle & Sebastian 3 TIMES.

This is kind of a specialist post, so I’ll try and keep it succinct.

The debut album of Scottish twee group Belle & Sebastian, written in 1996 (my birth year, so it basically is the same as me)- with some of their best moments as a group of musicians ever.

Look here: I own it, twice! (The picture of the wall is just the record stuck up, which is a great, cheap way to decorate)

 

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I even drew my eyebrows on today. (EDIT: scary panda)

The album opens with ‘The State I am In’ with baby Stuart quietly whispering to all lonely girl (and boy) listeners everywhere. There is something in listening to the first track of an album, if it’s something really significant you’ll like the band/artist for ever and ever and ever. (See: Thunder Road/Bruce Springsteen/Born to Run;;;;;;Gloria/Patti Smith/Horses etc)

In truth, the first B&S album I heard was Dear Catastrophe Waitress, with the stellar opening track, “Step into my Office Baby” I remember first listening to it really late in bed, saying, “I will listen to the first track and then go to bed.” Unfortunately this song got me so excited that I had to listen to the entire thing, one time and a HALF (then i did fall asleep. I blame Asleep on a Sunbeam for being so calming.

Oh, Tigermilk.

In the sleeve notes, it reads, Sebastian (aka Stuart) wrote all of his best songs in 1995. In fact, most of his best songs have the words “Nineteen Ninety-Five in them”. What would happen in 1996?”

I think this is beautiful. It’s not horrendously dramatic, it simply is all like, Oh wait! I’m having quite a  good time right now, but how soon will it all end? You can easily hear that Stuart was influenced by The Smiths and the lyrics of Morrissey, but it isn’t quite so heart-wrenching, so maximal.

Where Morrissey is all like: “what a terrible mess I’ve made of my life”, Stuart is: “You know my bip-bopping days are over, I hung my boots up and then retired from the disco floor”

It’s a little more playful, and the stories are endless. B&S create so many characters, and yes- you can probably relate! That’s the joy. One of the lovely moments in my life was lying on some bed with some guy ~mysterious and not naming names and weird and bookish~ when suddenly, and for some reason I thought of the lyric,

“We lay on the bed there, kissing just for practice”

And I was instantly comforted by the fact things like this happen all the time, in bedrooms everywhere with boys and girls (and girls and girls and boys and boys too)

It’s just a bit of fun, we’re enjoying being young that’s all (that is what this band says to me.)

Also: THIS ALBUM: GREAT WALKING MUSIC. If it’s your kind of preferred pastime, buy or download the CD, and next time you’re in school walking past some absolutely fucking morons, play Track 9 ‘I don’t love anyone’ and walk in time past them, to

“Out on the street today/the kids are out playing having fun/I pass ’em by I’m not a kid, no/I don’t love anyone”

That’s how I deal with people anyway

And then, of course, there is Track 5- Electronic Renaissance. Which is perfection, as it sounds so different and it works so well. It is so well placed, with them ~synth vibes~, ugh I love it. Do you get that I love it? Have I fulfilled the purpose of this crazy fan post?

I think I’ve said what I’ve wanted to.  For further reading, I’d recommend The Celestial Cafe, by the man himself. It’s a really great read, but, hey, you’re so rad you’ve probably read it already.

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“You know the world was made for men/And not us” – We Rule The School, Track 7

Oh. He’s a feminist too. Hey.

Go out and buy it!!!!

Stay in and download it!!!

Or, most importantly, be all like, “Fuck you! Fucking bitch telling me what to do and to like, fucking Belle and shit” You’re the best kind of person.

(Meanwhile fans come at me and we can chat!)

Until next time!X