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Belle and Sebastian is a Scottish indie pop band which have been compared to The Smiths and Bob Dylan. They often couple sweet, soft and hummable melodies with surprisingly cynical and provocative lyrics. The band name actually has nothing to do with the names of the band members, but comes from a 1965 French children's book called Belle et Sébastien. The band members are:
Stuart Murdoch (lead singer, songwriter), Stevie Jackson (lead guitarist, singer), Chris Geddes (keyboardist), Richard Colburn (drummer), Sarah Martin (violinist, vocalist), Mick Cooke (mainly trumpet player) and Bobby Kildea (bassist, guitarist)
- Tigermilk (1996)
- If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)
- Dog on Wheels [EP] (1997)
- Lazy Line Painter Jane [EP] (1997)
- 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light [EP] (1997)
- The Boy With the Arab Strap (1998)
- Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant (2000)
- Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003)
- The Life Pursuit (2006)
- Write About Love (2010)
Belle and Sebastian provides examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Love Song: "You Don't Send Me," which also counts as Lyrical Dissonance.
- Book Ends: The album Tigermilk begins with the song "The State I Am In," which mentions a book by the same name. The last song, "Mary Jo," contains the line "Mary Jo, you're looking thin, you're reading the book, 'The State I'm In,' but oh, it doesn't help at all."
- Camp Straight: Stuart Murdoch may not be overtly camp, but his clean-cut appearance, slight lisp, and occasional queer references in his lyrics have raised suspicions that he may be gay. But he says that he's "straight enough to bore himself."
- Citizenship Marriage: "The State I Am In":
I got married in a rush
To save a kid from being deported
Now she's in love
- Ear Worm: "Lazy Line Painter Jane," "Step Into My Office, Baby," "Piazza, New York Catcher," and others.
- Hello, Sailor!: "The State I Am In" mentions it:
My brother had confessed he was gay
It took the heat off me for a while
He stood up with a sailor friend
Made it known upon my sisters wedding day
- Ho Yay: "Seeing Other People," "She's Losing It," "Judy and the Dream of Horses," "Lazy Line Painter Jane," "Jonathan David," "Mary Jo"...suffice it to say that many of their songs contain a bit of Ho Yay.
- If It's You It's Okay: "Seeing Other People," again.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "Jonathan David."
- Lyrical Dissonance: Gentle, uptempo melodies combined with cynical, angry, or mournful lyrics are frequent in their songs.
- One-Woman Song: "Mary Jo."
- Something Else Also Rises: The music video for "Step Into My Office, Baby" contains various visual metaphors for sex.
- War Is Hell: Seems to be a theme in "I Fought In A War."