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Alternative & Indie - To be released October 11, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | Matador

Days of the Bagnold Summer is Belle & Sebastian's soundtrack for Simon Bird's 2019 cinematic adaptation of Joff Winterhart's 2012 graphic novel. The band was hired by the director during a period when leader Stuart Murdoch was revisiting some of his older songs, so these tunes anchor the soundtrack album. "Get Me Away from Here I'm Dying" and "I Know Where the Summer Goes" are re-recorded for the film, while "Safety Valve" dates from 1993, when Belle & Sebastian wasn't a going concern. It is to the group's credit that Days of the Bagnold Summer sounds cohesive. These older tunes mesh seamlessly with a handful of full new songs, and they're tied together by vivid pieces of incidental music: "Jill Pole" plays with lush '60s cinematic tropes, while "The Colour's Gonna Run" is a shimmering piece of folk-pop. The individual parts fit together elegantly, even if it flirts with the ephemeral; the music deliberately floats by, leaving trace elements of melodies and vibe behind. As a Belle & Sebastian album, Days of the Bagnold Summer may be a bit slight, but as a soundtrack it is considerably more cohesive and alluring than Storytelling, all due to the group's increased mastery of texture and feel. This skill helps make Days of the Bagnold Summer the rare soundtrack that is as effective when heard outside of the context of the film as it is heard within it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 11, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 6, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 5, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 20, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 2, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 24, 2019 | Matador

While Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan was still a teen when she signed with indie behemoth Matador for her full-length debut, 2018's Lush, the songwriter/guitarist was only 16 when she issued her debut EP, Habit, two years earlier. It led to touring opportunities with acts including Waxahatchee and Girlpool and put her on the radar of labels, the indie press, and fans alike. While the beguiling guitar textures of Lush weren't as fully formed on the six-song EP, the groundwork was there in the context of a more clattering, impulsive-sounding presentation. Perhaps more importantly, Jordan's distinctively yearning, vulnerable vocals and self-depreciating lyrics were on full display. Matador's remastered 2019 reissue of Habit comes with colorized artwork and an extra track, a cover of "The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl in the World," a 1990 song originally by Lois Maffeo's short-lived guitar-and-drums duo Courtney Love. The 2019 Snail Mail version (which differs from a 2018 Amazon-exclusive take), while generally loyal, shifts the wistful, acoustic indie pop of the bouncy original into a longing, jangly indie rock amplified by Jordan's vocal snarl. Speaking of snarl, other track titles consist of words like "Dirt" and "Slug" that not only reflect but contribute to the record's emotional and aesthetic tension. Other major contributors include angst-ridden, often depressive lyrics as well as relentless drum rhythms and clanging rhythm guitar that seems to borrow almost as much from post-punk as grunge at times. The EP is a jumble of those frustrated lyrics, which, as on "Stick," offer lines like "It's a hard trip to the kitchen sink/'Cause I can't wash this one clean" just before "Did you tell all of your friends?" While Habit is worth adding to a collection more for the originals than the cover, "The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl in the World" provides a catchy, urgent closer without betraying the core songs' discontent. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 23, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 19, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 19, 2019 | Matador