Belle And Sebastian – Tigermilk
Label: Matador – OLE 361-0
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, 120 gram
Also includes free download of entire album.
Originally Released: 1996
Style: Indie Rock
A1 The State I Am In 4:57
A2 Expectations 3:34
A3 She's Losing It 2:22
A4 You're Just A Baby 3:41
A5 Electronic Renaissance 4:50
B1 I Could Be Dreaming 5:56
B2 We Rule The School 3:27
B3 My Wandering Days Are Over 5:25
B4 I Don't Love Anyone 3:56
B5 Mary Jo 3:29
Mastered By – Alan Rankine
Performer – Chris Geddes, Isobel Campbell, Richard Colburn, Stevie Jackson, Stuart David, Stuart Murdoch
Barcode and Other Identifiers
The story of B&S is the story of a band without the intention of selling music, who still became one of the most influential indie-bands. Deriving their name from a French childrens book named "Belle et Sebastién", Belle and Sebastian is by all measures a band quite outside the ordinary.
"Tigermilk", their debut album, was originally released on Electric Honey Records - a small label run as a part-time project by students of the Glasgow School of Art. Originally the label only had capacity to release one EP a year, but when Stuart Murdoch turned up with ten songs and eight band members, they decided to make this one a full-length LP. As the belles had to cover most of the costs themselves, the original vinyl LP was only printed in 1,000 copies, and even so the band still had problems finding buyers for them all.
Today Belle and Sebastian have fans more or less everywhere - the band even has a nightclub in Korea named to their honour. And when listening to "Tigermilk" one instantly understands why the band achieved such fame, more or less against their own will.
Although "Tigermilk" was the bands debut - recorded with both limited time and resources at their disposal - it still shows the belles at their absolute best. Though musically it lacks some of the range of the three-ep box-set "Lazy Lane Painter Jane", its consistency and timelessness made it a classic all from the start. One needs only to listen through the opening track of the album, "The State That I am In", to see what makes the belles stand out from everyone else.
Sarcastic lyrics about human failure and tragedy is mixed with upbeat pop-melodies form the basis of most of B&S' music, creating their signature soundscape. Although seemingly stealing some of its sound from classic pop, "Tigermilk" still stands out as fresh and new - different from everything done both before and after it. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, "Tigermilk" still does not distance itself from its audience, but invites the listener into a completely new - yet recognizable - musical universe.
"Tigermilk" fuses the sound of The Smiths at the height of their creative power with the ideals of the indie/lofi-movement of the 90s, creating - in all its simplicity - pop-music both more advanced and yet simpler and more truthful than anything done before it. The first listening might give the impression of a feelgood easy-listening album, but underneath it all lies a nerve equal to the works of Jeff Buckley and his like.
Though creating a universe of its own, distanced by a clear sarcastic tone, "Tigermilk" leaves the listener with the impression that this is something highly personal. The odd combination of lyrics and music leaves the listener unsure as to wether he should laugh or bawl.
Running the risk of ending up entangled in clichés, I daresay that "Tigermilk" stands out as an accurate description of modern life and culture; that the belles in their firm intention of creating an album completely unsuited of intellectual analysis (or commercial success for that matter), managed to create the album that described their own generation.
Sadly, at current point "Tigermilk" seems only a distant memory of the artistic capabilities of the belles, as "Belle" herself, in real life named Isobel Campbell, left the band in 2002 to focus on her solo career, and the band after their transfer to Rough Trade has started tuning their guitars and hiring professional musicians and producers - a move that has removed most of their original charm and created just another radio-friendly Scottish pop-band.
Belle & Sebastian - She's Losing It
Reissue recorded in 1996.
Belle & Sebastian - The State I Am In (Videoclip
Belle and Sebastian - Expectations
ah this song makes me feel not so alone when i feel sad! thank you belle and sebastian
Belle & Sebastian - I Could Be Dreaming
the line "family's like a loaded gun..." is from the Hal Hartley film 'Trust'