Belle & Sebastian had originally planned to spend 2020 touring and making a new studio album in Los Angeles. Neither of those things happened, thanks to COVID, but they are releasing a double live album, What to Look for in Summer, which will be out December 11 via Matador.

The idea for a live album had already been in the works and the band had recorded many of their 2019 shows, including the ones they played as part of their at-sea Boaty Weekender festival. “We'd been badgered by our fan base to put out recordings of the shows,” says frontman Stuart Murdoch, who says the live album went from being "one for the heads" to something a little more considered. “For a while, the working title of the record was Live and Meticulous,” Murdoch says. “The record company really wanted it to be called Live and Meticulous. But I don't like derivative things really.”

The record, which pulls from a variety of performances, includes early songs like “Fox in the Snow" and “Seeing Other People" to more recent fare like “Poor Boy” and "We Were Beautiful," as well as deep cuts ("Stay Loose," "I Didn’t See It Coming"), and three songs from Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant (which they performed in full at Boaty Weekender). Belle & Sebastian have shared two songs from it today: "My Wandering Days are Over," and an eight-minute version of "The Boy With the Arab Strap," the title track to their third album that also has been their standard show-closer for years. “I genuinely look forward to it,” Murdoch says about playing the song live. “If the concert’s going great, it just feels like a natural vibe. And if the concert’s going okay - maybe it's a Sunday night and everybody’s a little bit flat, or still in their seats - it’s definitely the time to send it home.”

Listen to both of those, and check out What to Look for in Summer's artwork and tracklist below.

Meanwhile, Stuart Murdoch continues to host meditations sessions weekly on Thursdays at 9:30 AM ET via B&S' Facebook.

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What To Look For In Summer tracklist:
1. The Song of The Clyde £ >
2. Dirty Dream Number Two *
3. Step Into My Office, Baby *
4. We Were Beautiful +
5. Seeing Other People %
6. If She Wants Me @
7. Beyond The Sunrise &
8. Wrapped Up In Books +
9. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John $
10. Nice Day For A Sulk (digital only) #
11. I Can See Your Future *
12. Funny Little Frog ^
13. The Fox In The Snow+
14. If You’re Feeling Sinister*
15. My Wandering Days Are Over*
16. The Wrong Girl #
17. Stay Loose%
18. The Boy Done Wrong Again #
19. Poor Boy%
20. Dog On Wheels%
21. The Boy With The Arab Strap+
22. I Didn’t See It Coming+
23. Belle And Sebastian #

£ recorded Banchory Studios, Glasgow, August 6th, 2020 (digital version)
> recorded by Kenneth McKellar (vinyl + CD versions)
* The Boaty Weekender, August 10th, 2019
+ Royal Oak Theatre, Michigan, July 21st, 2019
% Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA, July 12th, 2019
# House Of Blues, Boston, MA, July 13th, 2019
^ M-Telus, Montreal, QC, July 15th, 2019
@ Carnegie Hall - Pittsburgh, PA, July 18th, 2019
& House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH, July 19th, 2019
$ Auditoria Baluarte, Pamplona, Barcelona, November 4th, 2019