Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ begins in some kind of dreamy summer evening with a hint of whimsy. This latest addition to their catalogue of twee-pop forms the soundtrack to Simon Bird’s new film to be released in 2020. Naturally we can expect this to be an indie fest, though the album is a continuation of Belle and Sebastian’s ‘summer of love’ sound. It’s not offering much in the way of new, but it’s worth checking out if you’re after more of the same.
With new songs like I know where the summer goes, we get a nostalgic look back to a time gone by, though this is invoked in much the same way as before: more ‘car window staring’ music as Belle and Sebastian have been described in the past. A nice new offering is ‘Jill Pole’ which would not be out of place in a film like Amelie. Think moonlit Parisian backstreets and someone spinning romantically behind a block of flats to some gently peppered in accordion. ‘Safety Valve’ is certainly a nice tune, a little jaunty, but still with the sad-boy undertones that make Belle and Sebastian so appealing. ‘Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying’, initially appearing on If You’re Feeling Sinister in 1996, gets an amped up reboot, sounding a little more crowded though by no means is it any worse off. It’s completely congruous to its surrounding songs despite being 23 years their senior. The order of the day with Days of the Bagnold Summer seems to be the same soft acoustics and sweet but sometimes melancholy vocals that have proven a successful formula thus far. Extension, not expansion.