Review: Twenty-two years into their career, Scotland's veterans of indie-pop Belle & Sebastian offer a collated series of three EPs. It's a well played move by the band; each EP is strong in its own right, and together form an impressive full-length. Long-term fans will recognise the material here as some of their finest work in the mould of joyous and upbeat indie-pop the group established around 2003 with 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress'. The wit and brevity of their anecdotal songwriting is as robust as ever as they dip into a range of styles; choppy jungle-esque rhythms of 'We Were Beautiful', the slinking groove of 'Poor Boy', the steady Americana of 'I'll Be Your Pilot' and the jaunty-pop of 'Cornflakes'. This box set is essential to the collections of established Belle & Sebastian fans, but its diverse sounds and overarching sense of fun makes it a warm welcome to new fans too.
Review: Considering their penchant for spinning yarns and the cinematographically-suited nature of much of their work, it's surprising "Days Of The Bagnold Summer" is only Belle & Sebastian's second shot at a movie score. The last was 2001's '"Storytelling", accompanying Todd Solondz's movie of the same name, and they certainly did a good job then. So, high expectations this time round. For those unfamiliar, their latest foray into the film world partners the directorial debut of Simon Bird, best known to many as one of "The Inbetweeners". The flick, an adaptation of Joff Winterhart's 2012 graphic novel, chronicles the life and times of a teenage metalhead and his single mother. The album perfectly accompanies but also contributes to that tale. Highly emotive instrumental tracks and classic B&S songs-proper, this OST is destined to go down well with the band's true believers.