Saturday, April 25, 2009

pop*eye...God Help The Girl (2009)

Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch

"God Help The Girl

God Help The Girl - God Help The Girl (2009)

After an internet-wide talent search, Belle and Sebastian leader Stuart Murdochs long-in-the-works latest project-- a twee musical called God Help the Girl-- is finally coming to fruition. The soundtrack, featuring new Murdoch songs and a couple reworked B&S favorites, is due June 23 on Matador in North America (June 22 on Rough Trade in Europe). First single Come Monday Night is out May 11, but you can hear it right now on the God Help the Girl MySpace.

Along with the work of a 45-piece orchestra conducted by Withnail & I composer Rick Wentworth, the upcoming album features vocals from Murdoch himself, his B&S cronies, Asya from Smoosh, online finds Brittany Stallings and Dina Bankole, and Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy.

But its Scottish newcomer Catherine Ireton who takes top billing-- she sings on 10 of the records 14 tracks. So who is this overnight twee idol? Well, if she looks like she belongs on the cover of a Belle and Sebastian record, its probably because she was already on the cover of a Belle and Sebastian record (2006 single White Collar Boy). Shes also one half of acoustic pop duo the Go Away Birds, who currently have 1,017 plays on their MySpace at press time. Expect that number to rise. Based on the Go Away Birds tracks and the Ireton showcase Come Monday Night, B&S stalwarts shouldnt have much trouble falling for her.


Last year, Stuart made an open call for female singers (submissions required self-portraits, of course) to work on a new album and movie based on a story he wrote about a "better summer" featuring two girls and a guy. Murdoch's Scottish Idol search bore fruit, helping him discover and record Brittany Stallings (Olympia, Washington) and Dina Bankole (Jackson, Michigan), and yielding a winning audition from Limerick-native Catherine Ireton, who takes most of the lead vocals on the forthcoming God Help The Girl LP. The project's official site describes the sound as redolent of early B&S recordings while drawing on "musicals, sixties' girl groups, eighties' indie and, most of all, classic pop records." And Stu's psyched about Catherine: "In [her], 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." To be fair, he's been psyched about her before; she previously contributed vocals to Belle & Sebastian's "The White Collar Boy." Something got him going this time. Maybe it was her self-portrait.

The record features nine different singers (including Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy and Asya from Smoosh), B&S members, and a 45-piece orchestra conducted by Withnail & I composer Rick Wentworth. You can hear the Catherine-fronted orchestral bubblegum of lead single "Come Monday Night" at MySpace.

God Help the Girl, is a musical film written by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. Murdoch has already been at work on demos for the soundtrack. God Help the Girl the soundtrack will be recorded in spring 2008, and the film is set to go into production in 2009.

God Help The Girl is out in North American on 6/23 via Matador, the previous day in Europe via Rough Trade.

(God Help The Girl official site)

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

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