Formed in Glasgow 1996 Belle and Sebastian have always been the hippest of indies wallflowers and now they are indulging us with a Trilogy of new EPs. Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (‘Dog On Wheels’, ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’ and ‘3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light’), Belle and Sebastian will release three new EPs under the umbrella title ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’. This is the first EP, which is coming out on December 8th, the second on January 19th, and the third on February 16th (vinyl and digital only). The EP trilogy will culminate with a compilation CD and a limited vinyl box set containing all three EPs, with the option of a box just for EP3 for those who have already purchased 1 and 2.
Just as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap but as definitive releases in their own right. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is both an era of its own and part of a long, rich history. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.
When Belle and Sebastian felt new music percolating, they decided to break from the working methods of the recent years and instead stay at home, record the tracks as and when, often producing themselves, working with friends and collaborators to see what emerged. Working in Glasgow gave them the freedom to work without the constraints that making an album can impose: they could take their time honing and experimenting.
One thing that has defined Belle and Sebastian has been their relationship with fans, and that’s apparent in the new EPs. For the three sleeves, the group issued a call to fans to come to be photographed by Murdoch at a studio in Belsize Park in North London. Fifty were selected, and all those photographed were also recorded answering the question: “How do you solve your human problems?”