The Year in Review – January 2023
Belle and Sebastian hit the ground running in 2023 with new album Late Developers. Arriving almost back-to-back to 2022’s Top Ten album ‘A Bit of Previous’, ‘Late Developers’ comes on like its predecessor’s sun-kissed cousin. It is a full-hearted embrace of the band’s brightest tendencies that is not only fresh and immediate but possessing of that Belle and Sebastian je ne sais quoi of a group that will always be there for you with the perfect word or melody for the moment, while admitting tunefully that “Every girl and boy / each one is a misery” (“When The Cynics Stare Back FromThe Wall”).
At the tail end of January, XL Recordings released the debut solo album from Kenny Beats. Though best known for producing seminal albums for some of the world’s most exciting artists (Vince Staples, IDLES, Rico Nasty), on LOUIE Kenny subverts expectations with an almost entirely instrumental artist record that acts as a deeply personal tribute to the artist’s ailing father. Over 17 songs, LOUIE is a hypnotic odyssey of wounded, teardrop soul; a side of Kenny that has not been seen by the world before.