Belle and Sebastian Turn COVID-19 Fears into Gorgeous Music

The other week, Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian put out a call on Twitter for a collaborative project: “OK, I’ve got an idea. … How about we make a tune together using remote technology? Send me a few sentences or a paragraph, I’ll try to funnel those words into a song, then I’ll record an acoustic version of it and bounce it back to you.”

Still in bed, I sent him a brief paragraph about how I’m handling self-isolation (the gist of which is that I’m lucky) and a photo of the sunrise my anxiety forced me to notice that morning. A few weeks later, and Belle and Sebastian is out with a two-part collaborative project called Protecting the Hive. The first part, out Tuesday, is a video featuring Murdoch and Alessandra Lupo narrating fan quotes over gentle, spacy music — the imagery a deserted, sunny Glasgow.

My quotes are not included in this first video, but Murdoch and Co. are promising a second edition come Friday — this time audio-only. Belle and Sebastian encourage fans to take said audio files and make something new out of them.

“You have GarageBand, Zoom, whatever. A collaboration,” Murdoch said. “Someone might be good with tech. Someone might want to sing it. Can you put a rhythm to it? Someone add some organ, some flute! At this point it’s out of my hands.”

Murdoch also started leading meditation sessions to help fans stay zen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The band dropped their most recent album, Days of the Bagnold Summer, in 2019.

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