News

Scottish Musicians Speak Out on Today’s Scottish Independence Referendum Vote

Members of Belle and Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Django Django, Frightened Rabbit, Ladytron, The Pastels, The Twilight Sad, The Vaselines, and Others on if They Are Voting Yes or No

Sep 17, 2014

Today is a historic day in Scotland as it is the day the nation votes on the Scottish Independence Referendum. The people of Scotland get to vote on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom and have Scotland become its own country. Here various Scottish musicians weigh in on the subject. More

Competition Ends Tomorrow: Win God Help the Girl Soundtrack Vinyl, Film Download, and Tote Bag

Tell Us Your Favorite Belle and Sebastian Song via Our Facebook Page by Thursday at 12 p.m. EST

Sep 10, 2014

Our God Help the Girl competition ends tomorrow at 12 p.m. EST. This is your last chance to enter to win a vinyl copy of the God Help the Girl soundtrack, a Vimeo download of the film, and a tote bag.  More

Scotland Week - Complete Roundup of Coverage

Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl, Franz Ferdinand, Camera Obscura, James McAvoy, Frightened Rabbit, Helen Marnie, Cocteau Twins, and Others

Sep 10, 2014

From last Monday to this Monday on our website was Scotland Week. All throughout last week and this Monday we were posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. In case you missed any of the coverage, here is a list of everything we posted, organized by day.  More

Scotland Week Coverage Roundup Thus Far

Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl, Franz Ferdinand, Camera Obscura, James McAvoy, Frightened Rabbit, and Others – More to Come This Weekend

Sep 05, 2014

This week on our website has been Scotland Week. All throughout the week we've been posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. We've talked to Stuart Murdoch and the entire main cast of God Help the Girl and have been talking to Scottish musicians about their favorite Scottish albums and their thoughts on the Scottish Independence Referendum. In case you've missed any of the coverage, below is a list of everything we've posted thus far, organized by day. More

Scotland Week Competition: Win God Help the Girl Soundtrack Vinyl, Film Download, and Tote Bag

Tell Us Your Favorite Belle and Sebastian Song via Our Facebook Page

Sep 05, 2014

Today the Glasgow-set musical film God Help the Girl opens in Los Angeles and New York and will be available to download or rent via Vimeo and iTunes. Then next week it gets a wider theatrical release. God Help the Girl is the feature film writing and directing debut of Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. More

Scotland Week: Our List of the 10 Best Belle and Sebastian Songs

Interpreting History: 10 Essential Lines and Scars of Belle and Sebastian

Sep 05, 2014

We have a special theme on Under the Radar's website this week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we will be posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. We've put together a list of the 10 most essential Belle and Sebastian songs. More

Sep 05, 2014

It wouldn't be Scotland Week without The Vaselines. Here's a new video for "High Tide Low Tide," the latest from the indie pop vets.  More

Scotland Week Competition: Win God Help the Girl Soundtrack Vinyl, Film Download, and Tote Bag

Tell Us Your Favorite Belle and Sebastian Song via Our Facebook Page

Sep 03, 2014

This Friday the Glasgow-set musical film God Help the Girl opens in Los Angeles and New York and will be available to download or rent via Vimeo and iTunes. Then next week it gets a wider theatrical release. God Help the Girl is the feature film writing and directing debut of Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. More

Sep 02, 2014

Glasgow's The Phantom Band have just released a new video for "Clapshot," which is good timing considering we're doing Scotland Week on our website this week. The video features a pair clad in suits and weird masks dancing around a castle and was made by artists Graeme Roger and Kevin Reid for The Royal Scottish Academy. More

Scotland Week on Under the Radar’s Website All This Week

Interviews, Reviews, Blog Posts, and Lists Related to Scottish Artists All Week

Sep 01, 2014

This Friday the film God Help the Girl is released in America. It's the feature film writing and directing debut of Stuart Murdoch, the frontman for beloved Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian. The film takes place in Murdoch's native Glasgow and involves, among other things, the formation of an indie pop band. Partly in honor of the film's release we've decided to have a special theme on Under the Radar's website this week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. More


Interviews

Scottish Musicians Speak Out on Today’s Scottish Independence Referendum Vote

Members of Belle and Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Django Django, Frightened Rabbit, Ladytron, The Pastels, The Twilight Sad, The Vaselines, and Others on if They Are Voting Yes or No

Sep 18, 2014

Today is a historic day in Scotland as it is the day the nation votes on the Scottish Independence Referendum. The people of Scotland get to vote on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom and have Scotland become its own country. Here various Scottish musicians weigh in on the subject. More

Scotland Week: David Maclean of Django Django

"I'm not suggesting that creating an independent Scotland will be an easy ride.... But for me running our own country is a no brainier." - David Maclean

Sep 08, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to David Maclean of Django Django. The band might be based in London (where they officially formed in 2009), but Django Django's members met at the Edinburgh College of Art and Maclean is a Scottish native. In fact, Maclean's older brother, John Maclean, was in the iconic late-'90s/early '00s experimental indie rock Scottish group The Beta Band, a clear influence on Django Django's art rock.  More

Sep 07, 2014

We have had a special theme on Under the Radar's website over the last week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we have been posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. For this Pleased to Meet You Spotlight we focus on new Glasgow-based band The Amazing Snakeheads.  More

Sep 07, 2014

In this Scotland Week interview we talk to We Were Promised Jetpacks about their upcoming new album. Michael Palmer is enjoying the time off. For good reason. In a month, We Were Promised Jetpacks, for which he plays guitar, will be on another relentless touring season in support of their forthcoming third LP, Unravelling. 


Scotland Week: The Vaselines’ Frances McKee

“There are a lot of creative people in Scotland ready for the change a yes vote will bring.” – Frances McKee

Sep 07, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Francis McKee of Glasgow-based band The Vaselines. The Vaselines formed in 1986 and the indie pop duo also features Eugene Kelly. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was a big fan and described McKee and Kelly as his "favorite songwriters in the whole world." The band broke up in 1989, but reformed in 2006. In 2010 Sub Pop released the band's long-awaited sophomore full-length, Sex with an X. The Vaselines' third album, V For Vaselines, is due out on Rosary Music October 7. More

Scotland Week: Helen Marnie of Ladytron

"When I was living in Liverpool and then in London I always felt like a foreigner—like people thought I was some kind of novelty." - Helen Marnie

Sep 06, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Helen Marnie, lead vocalist for Ladytron. The band may have formed in Liverpool in 1999, but Marnie was born in Glasgow, where she grew up before going to the University of Liverpool to study music. Once there she met Liverpool producers/DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu. Bulgarian co-vocalist Mira Aroyo then joined them to form Ladytron, named after the Roxy Music song. In 2013 Marnie released her debut solo album, Crystal World. More

Scotland Week: The Twilight Sad

"The [Scottish Independence] debate has got very ugly over the past few months and I've seen good friends fall out over it." - James Graham

Sep 06, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to James Graham, vocalist for Scottish trio The Twilight Sad. The band formed in Kilsyth in 2003 after its members (Graham, guitarist Andy MacFarlane, and drummer Mark Devine) met in and around high school. Their debut album, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, was released in 2007 by FatCat. The Twilight Sad's fourth full-length, Nobody Wants to Be Here, Nobody Wants to Leave, is due out on October 28 via FatCat. More

Sep 05, 2014

Since the very beginning, Belle and Sebastian's records have been populated by a wide assortment of characters; from Judy, Sukie, and Jane all the way through "Suicide Girl" on Write About LoveIn making his first film, God Help the Girl, Belle and Sebastian singer and songwriter Stuart Murdoch had an opportunity to spend more time with his created characters than ever before.  More

Scotland Week: Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson on Scottish Independence and Orange Juice

“It’s a huge leap into the unknown, the whole [Scottish] independence thing on every level.” – Stevie Jackson

Sep 05, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian. One of the most iconic Scottish bands of the last two decades, the indie pop six-piece barely needs any introduction (especially to the readers of this website). Read on as Jackson discusses his favorite Scottish albums, bands, authors, and films, as well as his thoughts on the Scottish Independence Referendum. More

Scotland Week: Comic Book Writer Mark Millar

The Creator of Kick-Ass and Wanted on Marvel vs. DC, Scottish Mythology, and Scottish Independence

Sep 05, 2014

For this interview, we talk to Mark Millar. Mark Millar is a prolific Scottish comic book author and filmmaker. His first published comic, Saviour, ran for six issues between 1989 and 1990 and was published by Leicester, U.K. based Trident Comics. More

Scotland Week: God Help the Girl’s Emily Browning

The Actress (and Belle and Sebastian Fan) Sings For Stuart Murdoch

Sep 04, 2014

More and more, Emily Browning is someone we’re getting used to seeing in major studio films. The Australian actress had her first big, Hollywood role in Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, and later went on to star in movies like 2011’s Sucker Punch and this year’s action flick, Pompeii. However, Browning still makes room in her schedule for independent films—especially when she gets a chance to audition for the lead role in a musical directed by the singer of one of her favorite bands. More

Scotland Week: Franz Ferdinand

"We're not even a poor country, yet 800,000 people live in poverty and parts of Glasgow have the lowest mortality rate in Europe." - Paul Thomson

Sep 04, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Franz Ferdinand. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of the band's self-titled debut album, a record that was met with near universal critical acclaim and was also a commercial success in both the U.K. and the U.S., among other countries. Franz Ferdinand also won the coveted Mercury Prize in 2004, given annually to the best album by an artist from the United Kingdom.  More

Scotland Week: Casual Sex on Scottish Independence, Nuclear Weapons, and Gerry Rafferty

"The planet that funds, plans for, and readily accepts the idea of nuclear retaliation...is the planet that only lives as long as its biggest ego allows." - Peter Masson

Sep 04, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Casual Sex. The Glasgow-based post-punk band features guitarist and lead vocalist Sam Smith, guitarist Edward Wood, bassist Peter Masson, and drummer Chris McCrory. The band has previously released the "Stroh 80" single and The Bastard Beat EP, and has a debut album in the works. More

Scotland Week: Bis

"I may be one of the few people you'll hear of in a band saying this, but I'll be voting no [on Scottish Independence]." - Manda Rin

Sep 04, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to Bis. The Glasgow-based band formed in 1994 when members Amanda MacKinnon (aka Manda Rin) and John Clark (aka John Disco) were still in secondary school (aka high school) and bandmate Steven Clark (aka Sci-fi Steven) had just graduated. Their songs and videos made fun of the music industry and John Hughes movies, among other things. 

Sep 04, 2014

In honor of Scotland Week, for this Throwback Thursday we revisit our 2009 article on the genesis of Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian's God Help the Girl project. This Friday God Help the Girl, the feature film writing and directing debut of frontman Stuart Murdoch, is released. But back in 2009 Murdoch had done things in reverse, recording the soundtrack to a film that didn't exist yet. With the film now finally being released we thought it would be interesting to revisit this article. Read on as Murdoch discusses how he was inspired to write a musical and the challenges of finding the right vocalist to realize his vision.   More

Sep 04, 2014

In honor of Scotland Week, for this Throwback Thursday we revisit our 2006 cover story article on Belle and Sebastian, which was centered on The Life Pursuit. This Friday God Help the Girl, the feature film writing and directing debut of frontman Stuart Murdoch, is released. The band is also currently working on a new album. More

Scotland Week: God Help the Girl’s Hannah Murray

The Game of Thrones and Skins Actress Discusses Her Work With Stuart Murdoch

Sep 03, 2014

Actress Hannah Murray had her breakout role as a teenager, playing Cassie Ainsworth on the British television series Skins. American audiences, however, are more likely to know her from HBO’s Game of Thrones, where she plays Gilly, an escapee from Craster’s camp and love interest to Brother of the Night’s Watch, Sam.

She plays a much cleaner role—as a sheltered rich girl and aspiring singer—in the new musical, God Help the Girl. It’s the directorial debut from Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. In the movie, budding songwriter Eve (Emily Browning) sneaks out of her mental health facility and connects with musicians James (Olly Alexander) and Cass (Murray). They form a band and make music over the course of a single, magical Glasgow summer. More

Scotland Week: The Pastels

"We're voting yes to independence because Scotland is confident and quick-witted and wise enough to determine its own future." - Katrina Mitchell

Sep 03, 2014

For this Scotland Week interview we talk to The Pastels. The band formed in Glasgow in 1981 and its lineup features Stephen McRobbie (aka Stephen Pastel), Katrina Mitchell, Gerard Love, John Hogarty, Tom Crossley, and Alison Mitchell. The indie pop band has been highly influential on the Scottish scene and are revered by the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Camera Obscura. In 2013 they released Slow Summits via Domino Records, their first album since 1997's Illumination.

Scotland Week: God Help the Girl’s Olly Alexander

The Years & Years Singer On Working With Stuart Murdoch

Sep 02, 2014

Olly Alexander was the first actor Stuart Murdoch cast in his directorial debut, God Help the Girl. While the actor had appeared in several films before that point, including Enter the Void and Gulliver’s Travels, it was his unique audition video—in which Alexander performed a song he’d written on his little Casio keyboard—which caught Murdoch’s attention. More

Scotland Week: Casual Sex

Cosmic Innuendo

Sep 02, 2014

Are you a fan of Casual Sex? What's not to love about Casual Sex? Casual Sex is fantastic. Once you give Casual Sex a try, you'll never be able to get enough. More

Scotland Week: Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison (aka Owl John)

"Many other countries of Scotland's size are independent and I feel that our cultural identity is in fact stronger then many of those places."

Sep 02, 2014

We have a special theme on Under the Radar's website this week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we will be posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. For some of the Scotland Week Q&As we emailed out the same set of Scottish related questions to various different musicians from the country.

Sep 01, 2014

James McAvoy may be best recognized in the U.S. for his dramatic turns in acclaimed period films such as Atonement and The Last King of Scotlandand for playing the heroic Professor Charles Xavier in the two most recent X-Men films. The character he plays in Jon Baird's wildly stylized Filth lies on the opposite end of the spectrum. More


Reviews

God Help the Girl

Studio: Amplify
Directed by Stuart Murdoch

Sep 04, 2014

The sheer earnestness and unassuming glee of the film manage to pull off what contemporary musicals have been unable to do lately: evoke pure joy and enthrallment. More