You are stopped at a red light. You look over at the car next to you and notice that there is a girl dancing in it. There is a chance that I am that girl and there is only one thing to blame: Belle & Sebastian. I have disc two of Push Barman to Open Old Wounds in the CD player — yes in junior high I bought CDs and occasionally still make use of them. As “Legal Man” or “Slow Graffiti” plays I am left with no choice but to dance. This is the kind of car dance that involves somewhat coordinated arm movements and foot tapping, but with enough focus to keep my foot on the brake and not miss the advanced green. Belle & Sebastian induce a Nathan Barnatt like need to wiggle and dance. That is the beauty of this album.
In its own soft, mellow way Belle & Sebastian are the kind of indie rock that you can put on while your friends who don’t think that Bon Iver are the rockingest car tunes ever are around. They are what clubs should play if they want people to truly sincerely dance. This is the music that lives in your headphones as you dance around in the kitchen while you think no one else is home. This is solid gold.
Now this is how we get to Write About Love all these years later. Belle & Sebastian are slightly older and wiser, and their music is better than ever. “I hate my job, I’m working way too much. Every day I’m stuck in an office. At one o’clock, I take my lunch up on the roof,” they sing. The music is full and the lyrics are good. You head shakes back and forth. That and consistency is the making of indie rock royalty.