Belle and Sebastian
"Lazy Line Painter Jane"
This was a blind buy, I recall: Hey, let's try out Belle and Sebastian, I thought. This was their second EP, and I guess I was sold as soon as that organ played. I've always loved slice-of-English-life pop and this was the real thing. Quirky, perky but sad and dirty too. Wordy and arch and ultimately true and genuinely effecting. I can be picky about duets, but the guest vocals by Monica Queen give the song wonderful bruises. There's a girl on a bus... making love? Having a baby?? It's all here: Jane's family and reputation, work and boredom, her ups-and-downs, her hopes and tragedy... And then the song unleashes one of the greatest old fashioned organ solos since... well, since Del Shannon, I say. It really has to be played as loud as possible, being such a huge, celebratory sound. Let's hope Jane is all right.