Understanding God Help the Girl

September 26, 2014 6:43 PM

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Understanding God Help the Girl

For the past year or so, I had been listening to songs from God Help the Girl, in anticipation for the new film written and directed by Belle and Sebastian front man, Stuart Murdoch. For those of you not familiar with Belle and Sebastian, they're an indie pop band from Glasgow, Scotland, formed back in 1996 and often compared to The Smiths and Nick Drake. I've been a fan for many years and a couple of years ago I read about Murdoch writing material for a musical project he planned on developing. Over the course of a few years, in between shows and other commitments, he wrote songs from a female's perspective and the difficulties encountered as they enter adulthood. Although the instrumentation would be provided by Belle and Sebastian, he envisioned the singing done by female vocalists, so he took out an ad in a local Glasgow magazine and followed up with interviews being conducted via social media streaming. A few girls were selected from different parts of the world, and soon a full-length album and a few singles were released. Originally meant to show the bleak and arduous transition from adolescence to adulthood, the songs are paradoxically much more upbeat and catchy, reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian albums. But that is the point. When you're at a point of stellar devastation in your life, there's nothing better to do than dance and sing, and look for beauty within the absurd.

The opening of the new film, God Help the Girl, made its Los Angeles debut at the Laemmle Royal in Santa Monica a few weeks ago. Previously released in Europe, the band commented on the struggles of finding adequate distribution despite their global fan base. The first matinee was at 1:20 p.m. and I...

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