God Help the Girl – “Funny Little Frog” video premiere

June 23 sees the release of the God Help the Girl, a story set to music by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian.

In the latest video from the album, available for purchase here, Stuart seeks out and auditions a group of young singers who ultimately provide the vocal backbone for God Help the Girl.

Fans will recognize “Funny Little Frog” from Belle’s most recent album, “The Life Pursuit”.

New Song From God Help The Girl – “Mary’s Market”

In a bold marketing plan defying surprise, Stuart Murdoch has just posted a brand new song on the God Help The Girl site.  It was recorded last weekend.

It’s the b-side from the Funny Little Frog 7″ that is part of the Subscription which you can order here.

The song is called “Mary’s Market” and features a familiar friend on lead vocals.  Here’s what Stuart has to say about it:

Hi folks:

We have a new track for you. It’s called ‘Mary’s Market’, and we recorded it last weekend. It’s going to be the B-side to the ‘Funny Little Frog’ single, but we thought we’d let you hear it since the weather’s nice here, and we’re in a good mood, and it seems to match the weather!

The picture to go with the track features the stylish Scottish BBC newsreader, Mary Marquis. When I was writing the song, I wrote the lines

You showed me yesterday’s dress
The one you nicked from Mary’s Market

And it kind of sounded like Mary Marquis, so she gets to go on the cover! It kind of amuses me to think of the girl in the song nicking a frock from Mary Marquis, as it would probably be a frock worth nicking! (As you can see from the picture)

Download it here:  Mary’s Market (MP3)

To embed on your blog/myspace, copy this code:

Stuart’s full explanation, song credits and lyrics are on the GodHelpTheGirl.com site.

God Help The Girl: Subscription + Brand New Video

GodHelpTheGirl.com has re-launched with a very exciting, fan-drooler of a subscription offer that includes 7″s, a Deluxe CD or LP of the new album, a 10″ and oodles of extra digital goodies.  Plus, if you order you will get an instant stream of the entire album.

This subscription package will gently unwind over the months allowing you to soak up the living, breathing world of God Help The Girl. A musical project with a beautifully and diligently crafted narrative that deserves to be listened to over time, for each place, character and voice to be properly digested before moving on to the next.

As well as delivering 7″ singles, 10″ EPs and your choice of CD or LP albums straight to your door we will regularly fill your inbox with video footage made to document the creative process by Stuart Murdoch and Marisa Privitera, music videos and album streams to keep you entertained no matter how far from your record players you stray this summer.

By subscribing you will receive the following:

Physical

  • 11th May: 7″ ‘Come Monday Night’ single
  • 22nd June: LTD CD or LP God Help The Girl album
  • 20th July: 7″ ‘Funny Little Frog’ single
  • By Xmas: 10″ 5 track exclusive EP

Digital

  • A full album stream on purchase
  • MP3s of the Album & 7″ on release
  • The ‘Come Monday Night’ video
  • 4 x episodes documenting the ‘Making of”
  • The ‘Funny Little Frog’ video
Now to further get you excited, here is the brand new video for the first single “Come Monday Night” directed by Blaire Young and Stuart Murdoch. (via Pitchfork.tv)

God Help The Girl – Come Monday Night MP3

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The first MP3 from God Help The Girl (a story set to music by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian) is “Come Monday Night.”

You can download it here:

Come Monday Night (mp3)

For more information, visit godhelpthegirl.com, where you can watch a short movie about the making of this album, including auditions, interviews, studio footage and more. Sign up for the mailing list and keep checking back, because we’ll have exciting subscription news with delicious extras there soon.

Presenting ‘God Help The Girl’ ; A Story Set To Music By Stuart Murdoch Of Belle & Sebastian

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• Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch presents his new musical project ‘God Help The Girl’, self titled debut (LP/CD/digital available June 23 on Matador Records in North America, the previous day in Europe on Rough Trade), preceded by a single ‘Come Monday Night’ (May 11, via Rough Trade)

“Come Monday Night” –

• Features an array of singers, including Stuart’s discovery Catherine Ireton, Asya of Smoosh, Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, the other members of Belle and Sebastian and a 45 piece orchestra conducted by ‘Withnail & I’ composer Rick Wentworth.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpV_ma_zed4&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

‘God Help The Girl’ is a story set to music, which Stuart Murdoch has been working on intermittently for the last five years, its origin in some songs that were written while Belle and Sebastian were touring ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’ in 2004. Stuart explains:

“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 & Sebastian song. 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.”

As more songs emerged, a shape and theme began to develop, before the music was actually recorded, or the vocalists found to take on the parts.

“All the time I was touring with Belle and Sebastian, I was putting aside songs for certain characters,” he says, “and at one point I realised, that it would make sense to string them together to form the backbone of a musical narrative.”

The hunt was then on to find some great new voices to put to use during the recordings. A competition where singers could add their vocals to the demo recordings of ‘Funny Little Frog’ and ‘The Psychiatrist Is In’ was posted on the iMeem social networking site and attracted around 400 entries. From these, Brittany Stallings (Olympia, Washington) and Dina Bankole (Jackson, Michigan) came to Glasgow in February 2008 to rehearse and record some parts, Brittany making the lead vocal part on ‘Funny Little Frog’ her own.

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Among those who auditioned early in the process was Catherine Ireton (above), who had moved from Limerick to Glasgow, a friend of a friend, who had previously appeared on the sleeve of Belle and Sebastian’s last single, ‘The White Collar Boy.’ She took on the lead vocals for the majority of the songs on the record.

The recording continued during 2008, with a total of nine different singers (including Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy and Asya from American teen trio, Smoosh) joining the members of Belle and Sebastian over the course of a few months. During this, Mick Cooke’s orchestral arrangements were recorded in London with the orchestra before the finishing touches were applied in Glasgow.

The result is a breathtaking record from one of pop’s most singular voices, combining the strengths and feel of the early Belle and Sebastian records in a broader musical palette, which draws equally on musicals, sixties’ girl groups, eighties’ indie and, most of all, classic pop records.  And, in Catherine, Stuart has found a rare talent – her clear, lilting vocals bringing to life the characters in Stuart’s imagination and making for an ambitious and engrossing musical journey

Tracklisting / Vocalist

01.Act of the Apostle – Catherine Ireton

02.God Help The Girl – Catherine

03.Pretty Eve In The Tub – Stuart, Catherine

04.A Unified Theory – Instrumental

05.Hiding Neath My Umbrella – Catherine, Stuart

06.Funny Little Frog – Brittany Stallings

07.If You Could Speak – Catherine, Anna Miles

08.Musician Please Take Heed – Catherine

09.Perfection as a Hipster – Neil Hannon, Catherine

10.Come Monday Night  – Catherine

11.Music Room Window – instrumental

12.I Just Want His Jeans – Asya

13.Iʼll Have To Dance With Cassie  – Catherine

14.A Down and Dusky Blonde – Dina Bankole, Catherine, Celia Garcia, Brittany, Asya

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Preorder information for the Matador edition(s) of ‘God Help The Girl’ is forthcoming in this space very soon.

(God Help The Girl official site)

(God Help The Girl at imeem,  God The Help The Girl at MySpace)

New Yo La Tengo, New Pornographers and Stuart Murdoch songs…

    

… on the Dark Was The Night compilation, coming out on 4AD. All are unavailable elsewhere. The Yo La Tengo song is a Snapper cover, the New Pornographers song is a Destroyer song (cover?), and the Stuart Murdoch song is a traditional Scottish number. (Other members of Belle and Sebastian perform on the track.) All three can be checked out in the above widget.

There is also an unreleased Cat Power song on the record – a cover of “Amazing Grace.”

This is the new Red Hot compilation, and proceeds will go to benefit AIDS charities.

In stores a week from tomorrow. Preorder it here and receive a free 7″ while supplies last.

Belle Artwork Contest Winner

To say that we were impressed with this contest would be an understatement.  The entries ranged from nü american gothic weird to recycled internet meme.

At the end of the day, Stuart said it came to this:

“once the group realised beans was in fact represented (as a mosquito at the back) they gave him the prize!”

So, without further adooo…  congratulations Colocho from France. (yes, he is a true artist…only one name)

Upon hearing of his good fortune (and enduring a GITMO-esque indemnification process to prove he was indeed the creator of this original piece of art), Colocho exclaimed:

Hello,

mon véritable nom est Éric Girard , 36 ans, Colocho est mon nom d’illustrateur. Je vis et travaille à Lyon, France.

Je doit dire que la musique de Belle and Sebastian accompagne souvent mes séances de travail. C’est donc un grand honneur pour moi d’avoir été choisi par le groupe, surtout que la participation fut abondante et de qualité.

J’avoue qu’à ce jour j’ai encore beaucoup de mal à y croire, mon entourage également.
C’est surréaliste !

Mon dessin était tout en simplicité, encre, pinceau, papier… Je ne pensais vraiment pas attirer l’attention du groupe…

J’ai tout de suite eu l’envie de faire un dessin noir et blanc, mes amis et ma compagne m’ont reprochés de ne pas mettre une touche de couleur…

Cependant mon parti pris a été récompensé.

Je suis comblé… Cette nouvelle arrive au bon moment dans ma carrière, un coup de projecteur pour faire connaître mon travail.

Merci infiniment au groupe.

Merci infiniment à Matador Records.

Merci infiniment à vous.

Éric

We have consulted our French to English translator site and we are pretty sure we don’t see “remuneration” anywhere in that message.

Click here for a gallery of the finalists.  You all get the Matador B&S discography on CD.

Stay tuned for information on when these limited edition CDs will be on shelves.

Contest: Design Artwork For Belle And Sebastian

From the first time your cool older sister brought home a copy of If You’re Feeling Sinister during Winter break from Haverford, you have wanted to design artwork for a Belle And Sebastian album.

You’ve worked hard at it… Aping that monochromatic vibe for mixtapes…. Copped the twee girl clutching some Kafka on flyers for your weekly DJ night…. you work hard.  You’re never lazy about it.

And now is not the time to let the laziness set in.

We are giving you the once in a lifetime chance to design the front cover image for a limited edition of The BBC Sessions that will be sold in stores nationwide.  That’s right, an actual commercial edition of a Belle album (in nostalgic compact disc format) will feature your creative work if the band so deems it worthy.

The full details and future entries will be available on the official contest page.

Get to work!

UPDATE:  The music will be the exact same.  Only the cover image will change in the packaging.

Christmas shopping – Cat Power double 10″ EP and more

This coming Tuesday, the limited-edition double vinyl gatefold 10″ EP from Cat Power hits the stores. Entitled Dark End Of The Street, it includes six bewitching cover songs from the Jukebox sessions and not included on that album. This would make a wonderful Christmas or Hannukah present for someone who likes gatefold covers, or cover songs, and it’s available for preorder now.

We have a lot of other deluxe packages from this year appropriate for stocking-stuffers or under-the-tree action. The deluxe 44-song, 48-page book, die-cut slipcase edition of Pavement’s Brighten The Corners, for example (and if you preorder now, you can still – just – get the ultra-limited live vinyl bonus LP, exclusive to this release). Two weeks ago we released Belle and Sebastian’s justly acclaimed BBC Sessions, with essential radio performances from their early 1996-2001 period. The deluxe version of the CD comes with a second disc containing a complete concert in Belfast from December 2001. The set includes covers of I’m Waiting For The Man, The Boys Are Back In Town and Here Comes The Sun. This is strictly limited and once it goes, it’s gone.

There’s also the deluxe version of the Mogwai’s latest, The Hawk Is Howling, which comes with a bonus DVD containing two videos for “Batcat” (including one nightmarish one directed by Dominic Hailstone of Chris Cunningham / Aphex Twin video fame), and a short documentary about the band by Vincent Moon.

And of course, last March, we released to-die-for versions of the three original Mission Of Burma albums on Ace of Hearts. We’ve banged on enough about the real all-analog mastering from the original tapes, the precious live footage from the late ’70s and early ’80s, the gatefold sleeves on the vinyl, and the books with interviews and photos and more. We’re prouder of these packages than any other reissue we’ve ever done. All three are available for a very short time longer in a vinyl bundle deal for 50 bucks.

There are also a few deluxe copies of Cat Power’s Jukebox left with the gatefold foil digipak and second CD. Then there’s just about every vinyl release from this year, nearly all printed at Stoughton and pressed on RTI HQ180 vinyl. Single LPs here and double LPs here.

And of course, there are also Matador T-shirts, record bags, and slipmats… not to mention bundle deals.

The Matador Store.

photo of Chan Marshall by Stefano Giovanini

Stevie (Jackson) and Chris (Geddes) of Belle and Sebastian

In support of the BBC sessions that came out Tuesday, Stevie and Chris go deep in discussing the Belle and Sebastian’s early years…1996 (the year the band formed) to 2001 (the year Bobby replaced Stuart David as guitarist/bassist). And so much more…

Click Here

Matador’s Crazy House of Crazy Bargains

To celebrate new releases of some of our most beloved artists of all time, we’ve set up a couple of CRAZY bundles in the store.

Pavement- Deluxe Editions Bundle

An add-on to our current Buy Early Get Now promotion, you can now purchase all 3 available Pavement deluxe editions AND the to-be-release Deluxe edition of Brighten The Corners. Only $50 and you still get all of the Buy Early Get Now goodies!
Buy HERE

Belle and Sebastian Bundle

If you somehow missed the boat on one of the best bands of all time and have been drawn in by all of the positive vibes around the BBC Sessions you can pick up the first 4 of B&S’s classic albums PLUS the newly released BBC Sessions for only $45.
Buy HERE

Intended Play sampler Fall 2008: ready to download and burn

Our spring Intended Play label download sampler was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again. Just like before, you get a track from one of each of our current and upcoming releases. Seven of the tracks have not been released on MP3 yet, and four of those are from albums that haven’t been released yet. The sampler this time is a bit more varied musically, from A.C. Newman’s jewel-like pop songscapes to the majestic neo-punk of Fucked Up to the gorgeous female vocals of Jennifer O’Connor to a track from Lou Reed’s painstaking, thoughtful, first-ever performance of his controversial classic album ‘Berlin.’ We also introduce an unreleased song from Pavement’s ‘Brighten The Corner’ sessions, due out on the deluxe edition of that album in November.

Click on the link to get a zipped file of all 13 tracks plus front and back artwork, and burn it yourself (or just listen to it digitally). And support the bands and the label… if you like the track, click on the album title link below to buy (or preorder) the album (or more individual tracks) directly from us.

Intended Play Fall 2008 (zip file)

Track listing:

1. A.C. Newman There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve (from Get Guilty, due out January 20)
2. Belle and Sebastian The State I Am In (BBC Version) (from The BBC Sessions, due out November 18)
3. Jennifer O’Connor Here With Me (from Here With Me, released August 19)
4. Shearwater The Snow Leopard (Remastered) from Rook, released June 3)
5. Lou Reed Caroline Says, Pt. II (Live) (from Berlin: Live At St. Ann’s Warehouse, due out November 4)
6. Mogwai The Sun Smells Too Loud (from The Hawk Is Howling, released September 23)
7. Fucked Up No Epiphany (from The Chemistry Of Common Life, released October 7)
8. Jay Reatard An Ugly Death (from Matador Singles ’08, released October 7)
9. Jaguar Love Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers (from Take Me To The Sea, released August 19)
10. Pavement Cataracts (from Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Ed., due out December 9)
11. Brightblack Morning Light Oppressions Each (from Motion To Rejoin, released September 23)
12. Times New Viking Call & Respond (from the Stay Awake EP, released October 14)
13. Condo Fucks What’cha Gonna Do About It? (from Fuckbook, due out March 2009)

Coming In November : Belle & Sebastian – The BBC Sessions

First things first : we have no news regarding new Belle & Sebastian dates or recording. If we did, trust us, it would’ve been leaked to Pitchfork already. That said, on November 18 we’ll be releasing a double CD/double LP collection entitled ‘The BBC Sessions’, with one disc comprising radio sessions (duh) recorded from 1996-2001, and disc two culled from a December 2001 gig.  More news and/or MP3 leakage to follow, promise.

Disc One – Radio Sessions:

01 The State I Am In (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)
02 Like Dylan in the Movies (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)
03 Judy and the Dream of Horses (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)
04 The Stars of Track and Field (Mark Radcliffe Session; 07/96)
05 I Could Be Dreaming (Mark Radcliffe session; 12/96; abbreviated version)
06 Seymour Stein (Evening Session; 07/97)
07 Lazy Line Painter Jane (Evening Session; 07/97)
08 Sleep the Clock Around (Evening Session; 07/97)
09 Slow Graffiti (Evening Session; 07/97)
10 Wrong Love (later recorded as “The Wrong Girl”) (Evening Session; 07/97)
11 Shoot the Sexual Athlete (John Peel session; 05/01)
12 The Magic of a Kind Word (John Peel session; 05/01)
13 Nothing in the Silence (John Peel session; 05/01)
14 (My Girl’s Got) Miraculous Technique (John Peel session; 05/01)

Disc Two – Live in Belfast (12/21/01):

01 Here Comes the Sun
02 There’s Too Much Love
03 The Magic of a Kind Word
04 Me and the Major
05 Wandering Alone
06 The Model
07 I’m Waiting for the Man
08 The Boy With the Arab Strap
09 The Wrong Girl
10 Dirty Dream #2
11 The Boys Are Back in Town
12 Legal Man

Wanted : Singers For A Musical Film

Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch is looking for vocalists for the musical film, 'God Help The Girl' which he has been developing over the last year or so. To do this, he has teamed up with iMeem to conduct a search for female vocalists who are interested in taking part. At the God Help The Girl profile you can read much more about the project and, if you are interested, submit a version of one of two songs for his consideration.

You can read Stuart's introduction to "God Help The Girl" here and even if you are not considering entering – drop by and join up with iMeem to keep up with the project and hear the songs – 'The Psychiatrist Is In' and a  new version of  'Funny Little Frog' as sung by Catherine Ireton.

Good luck!