Scottish popsters Belle and Sebastian are currently wrapping up the recording of their seventh album, The Goalkeeper's Revenge, for a January release. The seven-piece outfit has spent the last several months working at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound studios with Beck producer Tony Hoffer. The unique pairing came about after the famed studio technician courted the ensemble in their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this year.
"It was time to make a record again, and he came to us," says guitarist Stevie Jackson. "We just went for dinner and talked about the kind of record he wanted to make. I thought, 'Yeah, this guy is good!' But [we hired him] more because of what he said, rather than the stuff that he'd done in the past."
Though they ended up spending several months in the city, Belle and Sebastian arrived in L.A. with eighteen songs already completed, the result of time spent in their hometown recording studio last winter. The results from the group -- frontman Stuart Murdoch, Jackson, Sarah Martin, Bobby Kildea, Richard Colburn, Mick Cooke and Chris Geddes -- were material that takes inspiration from soul, pop and a little-known electronic four-piece from Manchester, England. "A track that's pretty different is called 'Song for Sunshine,'" explains Jackson. "We were trying to do a kind of New Order thing, and everybody came in and had a keyboard instead of their usual instrument."
Other cuts expected to make the album include "Sukie in the Graveyard," "Another Sunny Day," "Act of the Apostle Part I" and "Funny Little Frog." On another cut, "White Collar Boy," Murdoch recounts the tale of a young person who finds himself in big trouble. "It's about an average Joe working in an office who has fallen in with a certain crowd that is slightly above him in social status," Murdoch says over tea. "He finds it difficult to keep up financially, so he starts stealing. But he gets caught, and he has to do community service. Then, rather unlikely, they chain him up to a female. She's crazy, and she hits the guard over the head with a spade, and they jump on a passing barge. That's pretty much as far as the story goes."
Belle and Sebastian plan to finish mixing the effort by the end of the month and will return for a U.S. tour next spring.