#8 Belle & Sebastian – Slow Graffiti

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In the early days it was like a secret club. With a debut in short supply, interviews at an absolute premium, grainy abstract photos and shorts pity essays included with all releases a legend was moulded. At first it seemed like the band couldn’t put a foot wrong, new material easily stood up to the intense scrutiny from their invisible army of fans. The intelligence in the lyrics was matched only by the wholesome melody. This music didn’t slap you in the face, it cajoled you slowly until you copped that every other band were altogether less useful. ‘Push Barman To Open Old Wounds’ chronicles those first steps from Art College Project to one of the most impressive acts in the world. ‘Slow Graffiti’ initially appeared at the tail end of ‘This Is Just A Modern Rock Song’ EP (their EP’s proved conclusively that the single still had a role to play). ‘Slow Graffiti’ details how twee pop could muster more resonance than all the synchronised movements of a certain Mancunian set of siblings. It begins in that true Belle & Sebastian spirit with Stuart Murdoch alone with his voice, at times it sounds as if he is stretching to reach the high notes but this just adds to the occasion. The winning effect comes by way of trundling stop/start bowl of faded drums, oboe, trombone and a hoarse guitar riff. The song slowly garners momentum and doesn’t relinquish control until your urges are sated. After hearing this you’ll realise it’s worth suffering a century of fakers if the rewards for patience uncovers a band like Belle & Sebastian every now and then. KD

Belle & Sebastian – Slow Graffiti

Album: This Is Just A Modern Rock Song EP
Year: 1998

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