Belle and Sebastian have announced plans to release three new EPs – all under the umbrella title How to Solve Our Human Problems. The records will arrive this December, then January and February next year. The band released a new song, I’ll Be Your Pilot, to accompany the announcement.
We Were Beautiful, released during the summer, serves as the lead single from the project and is featured on How to Solve Our Human Problems — Part 1.
“Having your first kid is a huge event, so I wrapped a lot of things I felt about Denny into the song,” Stuart Murdoch said in a statement. “Being a dad made me feel a little like the pilot in The Little Prince, hence all the references to the Sahara!”
Belle and Sebastian’s decision to put out a hat-trick of EPs is a nod to their younger selves – In 1997, the group released Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane, and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light.
It’s also an acknowledgement of the changing status of the album as a music format. “I think these days when an LP comes out, it’s kind of disappointing,” Murdoch told Stereogum. “Nothing seems to happen, and I thought, ‘we’ve got to do something different.’ I hate just to tread water. I’ve been in this business now for 20 years. Surely we can use our heads and do something that’s a bit more interesting that might actually pique some interest.”
According to a press release, How to Solve Our Human Problems is, at least in part, a way of confronting the negativity in the world with a gentle positivity. “It’s so easy to get up and condemn this politician or that act. But now I have this intrinsic notion that anger is a bad thing,” says Murdoch. “So how do you respond to what’s happening in the world? What’s happening in the world has always happened. There’s always been cause to be angry. So let’s consider not being angry.”
The first instalment of the trilogy arrives December 8th, followed by the second on January 19th and the third on February 16th. Belle and Sebastian will also release a compilation CD and a limited edition vinyl box set encompassing all three EPs.
How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 Track List
1. “Sweet Dew Lee”
2. “We Were Beautiful”
3. “Fickle Season”
4. “The Girl Doesn’t Get It”
5. “Everything Is Now”
How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 2 Track List
1. “Show Me the Sun”
2. “Same Star”
3. “I’ll Be Your Pilot”
5. “A Plague on all Other Boys”
How To Solve Our Human Problems Part 3 Track List
1. “Poor Boy”
2. “Everything Is Now (Part Two)”
3. “Too Many Tears”
4. “There Is an Everlasting Song”
5. “Best Friend”