The How to Solve Our Human Problems EP project is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the London residence of the US ambassador. Belle and Sebastian's new music has the timeless blend of joy and melancholy that has always characterized them. What has changed is how the group want their music to be released, and over the coming months, they will gift the world a double album's worth of music – richly melodic, deliciously literate, as gentle as a summer stream but as insistent as a river
Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian issue three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human Problems, with the first EP coming out in December 2017, the second in January 2018, and the third in February 2018. The EP trilogy will culminate with a limited vinyl box set containing all three EPs. Just as those three early EPs are a crucial part of the Belle and Sebastian canon, these three new releases aren't merely a detour between albums, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.
When Belle and Sebastian felt new music percolating, they decided to break from the working methods of the recent years and instead stay at home, record the tracks as and when, often producing themselves, working with friends and collaborators to see what emerged. Working in Glasgow gave them the freedom to work without the constraints that making an album can impose: they could take their time honing and experimenting. One thing that has defined Belle and Sebastian has been their relationship with fans, and that's apparent in the new EPs. For the three sleeves, the group issued a call to fans to come to be photographed by Murdoch at a studio in Belsize Park in North London. 50 were selected, and all those photographed were also recorded answering the question: "How do you solve your human problems?"