Index: Girl Groups


Summer Belle

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Those allergic to fey, turn away, now. The girl group version of Belle & Sebastian is upon us and it’s the bee’s knees. Stuart Murdoch adopts a Phil Spector/Kim Fowley role here (without, of course, the oogy, mad, leering vibe that darkens their reputations.) The tunes are elaborate, orchestrated melodic scaffolds built on the basic Belle & Sebastian model. Over them he drapes vocals one by his three belles, steps in for duets on two track, and on one brings in Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy for a great campy cameo. The result is basically a survey of British girl group styles, from the Bacharachy swing of Sandi Shaw, to the alabaster soul of Dusty Springfield, to any number of long forgotten Decca girls like The Orchids, Louise Cordet or Susan Hampshire. It’s an incredibly rich listen – wide eyed and big hearted, swaggering and campy, and it sounds like a stack of singles and yet song by song, scene by scene, tells a story. Huzzah! Songs of the summer…

Here, for your pleasure, is a choice cut and two classic fab British girl group sides:

God Help The Girl:

Louise Cordet: Two Lovers

Susan Hampshire: When Love Is True