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Stuart Murdoch: The 'Pursuit' of Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian have weathered the storm through 10 years in the music industry.
Belle and Sebastian have weathered the storm through 10 years in the music industry.
Singer and songwriter Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian.
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Singer and songwriter Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian.

Stuart Murdoch is the front man for the Scottish indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian. When the band formed as part of a music business class more than a decade ago, it released only non-album singles, refused to speak to the press, and would not pose for their press photos.

Their reluctance to embrace the media machine that fuels mainstream music only endeared the seven-member group -- including guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, cello, drums and trumpet -- to their devoted fans.

A similar approach guided their live shows. Despite the group's size, Belle and Sebastian played on cramped stages in cafes, church halls and libraries. In its earliest days, the band developed a cult following and a British fan base purely through word of mouth.

But it was only a short time before they had legions of fans in the United States and around the world. And when 1996's If You're Feeling Sinister came out, it was welcomed as a masterpiece.

In January, Belle and Sebastian marked its tenth anniversary, which was followed by the February release of the band's sixth full album, The Life Pursuit. The band's new songs find them exploring the louder, richer sounds of rock -- even as they recall the intricate, personal approach of the band's early work.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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