After a five-year gap between fresh LPs, Belle & Sebastian returned in January with an unexpected offering from the literary pop darlings: a dance LP. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance still trademarks pristine songwriting and sugary indulgence, but for fans who spent their teenage years crying to “It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career,” the album came as somewhat of a surprise.
Keymaster and founding member Chris Geddes maintains the institutional knowledge to disagree.
“I don’t really think it’s all that different from our previous work,” counters Geddes. “I feel like we could have made an album like Girls at any point in our career, but it just happened to come at this point. We have tried to make a dance record before, but we tend to revert to our more comfortable styles.”
Geddes allows that the goal of rump-shaking forced the Glasgow sixpiece to adjust accordingly.
“I don’t know that is was necessarily a deliberate breaking away from our old style, but [lead singer Stuart Murdoch] has always wanted to make an album that would inspire people to come out and dance at our shows. We had to focus on effects-driven guitar parts, playing around with that stuff, more than we ever have before.”
Longtime followers, fear not. The set list for this tour, which has taken the band across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, arrives littered with old favorites from the band’s two-decade career. Just come prepared for a dance break.
“We’ve always fed off of our fans’ incredible energy live, but with the new material being as upbeat as it is, people’s energy seems to stay at a higher level throughout the entirety of the show.”– Abby Johnston
June’s title track drop marks the fifth single from eighth country blockbuster Riser.
Repeat after me until you’re dizzy from the Kevin Russell’s Cajun Texicana: “Donut Taco Palace.”
A last call for summer fun splashes back for a second run of booze-fueled tubing and scorching music via a three-day campout just outside of San Marcos. Friday washes up plaintive Texan Robert Ellis, freewheeling rock practitioners Dr. Dog, and indie harmonizers Local Natives. Saturday flows funky with H-Town hip-hop luminaries Paul Wall, Bun B, and Devin the Dude, plus local player Max Frost and come-backers Ghostland Observatory. Sunday leans electro with instrumentally-inclined EDM’er Robert Delong, bombastic rockers Mutemath, and synth-pop duo Phantogram. www.floatfest.net.– Kevin Curtin
Working the absurd, rap’s most eccentric plastic pompadour lands back at a Downtown that’s witnessed all his hits and misses over the past two decades. Founding the Ultramagnetic MCs, whose groundbreaking Critical Beatdown in 1988 rates among the genre’s greatest, the Bronx MC’s non-sequitur-laden Dr. Octagonecologyst transitioned him to newer, stranger-danger heights in the following decade as a (possibly, literally) mad rapper. Dubstepper Morgan David King (MDK) supports with 16-bit nostalgia, while Austin polymath Grimnasty opens.– Kahron Spearman
Tim Crane and crew announced in July that this year’s Harmonizm would be their last album, so the local 10-piece bids farewell with a two-night stand of funk rhythms and smooth soul. Since its 2007 inception, T Bird & the Breaks sprawled ambitiously, bursting with backup singers and horns to match its evolution from suave, blue-eyed, retro R&B to increasingly gritty, dance-floor-packing grooves. Expect full blowouts, with Austin duo Sideshow Tragedy ripping blues on Friday, and the Greyhounds’ low-down jams setting up Saturday’s send-off.– Doug Freeman