Belle and Sebastian

Days of the Bagnold Summer

[Matador; 2019]

Rating: 2.5/5

If it weren’t for the film’s IMDb page and a single teaser clip posted to YouTube, it’d be easy to mistake Days of the Bagnold Summer for another proper full-length entry in Belle and Sebastian’s discography. Even the monochrome, vacant-eyed portraiture on its sleeve fits uniformly into the Scottish band’s catalogue, while the forthcoming indie flick’s synopsis reads like one of the short stories frontman Stuart Murdoch slips into his liner notes.
Bagnold, based on Joff Winterhart’s 2012 graphic novel, is a slice-of-life piece about a listless teenage metalhead and his anxious single mother; settings include libraries, shoe stores, and diners. Could there be a more quintessentially Belle and Sebastian concept? The Belle-verse is rife with horny teenage layabouts with lofty ambitions and a lack of motivation. In lyric form and likely on screen (the movie gets its wide release in 2020), Daniel Bagnold is no outlier, save for his decidedly non-twee appearance.
Days of the Bagnold Summer is Belle and Sebastian’s second crack at a movie score, following Todd Solondz’s 2001 film Storytelling. The former arrives amid a saturated market for movie/album tie-ins “inspired by” their source material, many of them dreadful and forced. Did Billie Eilish or Beck really offer any supplementary understanding to Roma? Does anyone want to listen to Rick Ross fumble through Suicide Squad references over Skrillex production? The answer is no on each count.

Luckily, the connection between the Belles’ interpretation of the Bagnold Summer and director Simon Bird’s is

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