The humour and poignancy of Belle and Sebastian lyrics are paired with intricate and whimsical art by illustrator Pamela Tait in a new collaboration that presents the words of songwriters like never before.
The first in a new series of titles by publishing start-up Volume, Belle and Sebastian Illustrated Lyrics is a picture book collaboration that brings together the cult band's plaintive, offbeat lyrics with exclusively commissioned illustrations by the Back Isle-based artist.
Pamela was even specially chosen to illustrate the book by Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. Having stumbled across her art a few years ago and falling in love with it, he decided that Pamela's quirky style was the perfect way to reflect his lyrics visually.
And on the page, it's clear to see why he felt this way. Pamela's unusual characters, each picked out in soft, delicate linework, have an appropriate mischief and sincerity about them. And rather than dominating the space, they interact with the lyrics in a subtle way to make even the most familiar of lyrics feel fresh.
Perhaps the perfect fit has something to do with the similar way in which the pair see the world. Stuart is renowned for extrapolating characters and observations from the world around him, and Pamela's art has been compared to Pareidolia. On her site, she says: "This is the psychological phenomenon where the mind responds to a stimulus by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists."
Limited to a run of just 1,000 copies, Belle and Sebastian Illustrated Lyrics comes bound in real cloth and signed by Stuart Murdoch himself. The book is also printed in five colours, with a specially selected Pantone used to pick out the lyrics. According to the publisher, this is to help the words shine out on the page. Pre-order your copy on the Volume site.