Be the first to hear this summer’s first great album

Indie darlings Belle and Sebastian are officially “on hiatus,” but the band’s members reunited last year to make a fantastic summer album — the soundtrack to an imaginary musical about a young woman’s romantic crisis called God Help the Girl.

Most of the project’s songs were inspired by the British pop idols of the sixties. (Catherine Ireton, who sings the part of the heroine, has a piercing voice in the tradition of Petula Clark and Cilla Black.) Belle and Sebastian’s primary songwriter, Stuart Murdoch, discovered two of the other eight singers by holding open auditions online. And while the album’s not out until June 23, you can hear a handful of songs, alternate versions, and outtakes — including Ireton’s showcase number, “Come Monday Night” — at Imeem. Show tunes have never sounded so good.

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