Fingertips Explores the Archives: Belle and Sebastian - Another Sunny Day
Jeremy from Fingertips joins us each month as he scours the betterPropaganda archives, highlighting gems buried a few years back in our database.
This month we bring you "Another Sunny Day" from Belle and Sebastian.
The charmingly twee and enigmatic Belle and Sebastian have been around so long at this point, and have influenced so many younger bands, that they seem kind of a constant presence on the 21st-century rock scene. Kind of disconcerting to realize that their last album came out back in early 2006. "Another Sunny Day" is a wonderfully melodic tune tinged with a slight, speeded-up country and western veneer, or as much of one as this eccentric Scottish band is likely to give us. Regardless of what he's singing about (often impossible to discern precisely), front man Stuart Murdoch--his high voice at once pure and reedy--almost always sounds laden with unbearable nostalgia for some far-off time and place that is only reachable via a rabbit hole or a wardrobe or some such magical portal. Here Murdoch delivers a voluptuous melody line most effortlessly: the entire verse is an extended melody, all 16 measures of it (compare that to standard pop songs, with their four-measure melodies at best). The shift in melody and chord that happens at the seventh measure wollops me in the gut every time (in the first verse, it's the shift that happens on the word "pardon" in the line "I told you, 'Beg your pardon'"); we move there into a second minor chord that cracks the song open--listen to how deeply inevitable the rest of the verse sounds, even as it's only half over at that point. And while you're at it, check out the nutty double-time snare beat the drummer offers up during the instrumental break at 2:24, just because it's nutty. "Another Sunny Day" is a track off The Life Pursuit, the band's aforementioned most recent release, which came out in February '06 on Matador Records. Murdoch put out a side project, God Help The Girl, last year; B&S have a new album out later this year, if all goes well.
- Jeremy Schlosberg