Prepare to get your Belle & Sebastian nostalgia on. The group have released a new video for a previously unreleased song called “Paper Boat.” The video is a veritable time capsule capturing the new young band in their early days.
Although his Belle & Sebastian days are well behind him, former member Stuart David has unearthed some old school footage of Belle & Sebastian from 1998, a time when the group was on the verge of their third record. David himself was the director for many of Belle & Sebastian’s early videos, and this one is certainly no exception to the rule. The footage was shot in some grainy sort of film quality (what I would assume to be sixteen milimeter), and shows the group on a hike in Abderdeenshire in Scotland, a tranquil and beautiful natural area, hiking around the forest and splashing about in the river. One particular stand out shot shows Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell skipping stones along the river (spoiler alert: one of them is really good at it, and the other one’s pretty mediocre at best).
The song that the video accompanies is one that has never been released before. “Paper Boat” has never seen the light of day on any of Belle & Sebastian’s records before, and after listening to the video, I wonder why that is the case. The song is playful, melodic, and soothing, a perfect pairing to the video itself. This was a time of discovery for the group, but also a time when they were somewhat unfettered by the perks of the music industry.