How to Solve Our Human Problems is the first in a trio of mini-albums from Belle and Sebastian and their first new music since early 2015. Each of the three albums is a five-song EP, and each is named How to Solve Our Human Problems (Parts 1, 2 and 3). Part one is out now, released on 8 December, on Matador/Rhythmethod. The second and third installments of How to Solve Our Human Problems will be out on January 19th and February 16th, respectively. The band will also release a box set of the releases once they’re all out, for a double album’s worth of music.
This release takes us back in time and lets us enjoy Belle and Sebastian’s intimate, gentle, indie music with nostalgic overtones that made them so special in the 1990s. After various musical experiments, detours to mainstream, individual projects and changes in band members, Stuart Murdoch and company are going back to the roots and the original sound that won the hearts of the audience and brought them critical acclaim. The highlight of the album is the bitter-sweet Jackson/Murdoch duet “Sweet Due Lee”, which ranks among the greatest songs the band has ever created.
Belle and Sebastian has also shared a new video, for the previously released song “I’ll Be Your Pilot”, which is included in the second EP in the series. Directed by Michael Sherrington, this delicate and poetic video presents us with the signature B&S artwork, echoing the spectrum of human emotions with a simple yet moving collage of individuals.
Commenting on the new video for TIDAL, frontman Stuart Murdoch said: “I wanted to do something that was really intimate and personal. I was playing the song and I was watching Andy Warhol’s The Screen Tests [for inspiration]. Back to the ’60s in The Factory, Andy Warhol used to invite people that he thought had interesting faces. He used to just put them in front of the camera, and just start the camera rolling. He let them do whatever they wanted to do, and it was interesting because sometimes they would do very little, and sometimes you would get an emotional response.”
Here is the track list for How to Solve Our Human Problems – Part 1:
1. Sweet Dew Lee
2. We Were Beautiful
3. Fickle Season
4. The Girl Doesn’t Get It
5. Everything Is Now