Belle & Sebastian Frontman Crafts Sublime Pop Life With ‘God Help The Girl’

Although Belle & Sebastian have regrouped and recorded a new album in Atlanta, Georgia, founding member Stuart Murdoch also has cinema on his mind thanks to his feature directing debut God Help The Girl.

Set in Glasgow, the storyline centers on Eve (Emily Browning), a woman who’s blessed with both singing and songwriting skills. Overnight success is not in the offing, however, as constant hospital supervision and dependence on medication have their share of challenges on our ambitious protagonist. Upon befriending fellow music lovers Cassie (Game of Thrones’ Hannah Murray) and James (Olly Hernandez), Eve may have a band and a group of friends to call her own.

Eve’s story, as well as the music that infuses her universe, was previously released as a God Help The Girl album from Stuart Murdoch back in 2009, and now Murdoch has released a soundtrack and the aforementioned film to add different colors to his painting.

On a surface level, one can enjoy God Help The Girl for the catchy and playfully choreographed numbers that are featured in the story (the movie is a mixture of musical, fantasy, and drama). During my interview with Stuart Murdoch, I asked him if God Help The Girl’s pop music holds much more layers upon closer look.

Check out Stuart Murdoch’s answer below, as he ties in Belle & Sebastian’s creative ambitions with the type of songwriting (and storytelling) that’s featured in God Help The Girl.

“Without sounding like too much hubris, the songs do quite come naturally to me. That’s what I’ve been doing all this time. I had a basic idea when Belle & Sebastian got together that we would try and write the best pop music we could because I was in love with hit music all the way through the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

We would try to write the best pop music – we wouldn’t be indie pop. We would be pop music – but what we would be writing about, the words would maybe be darker. The words would be more honest than just kind of the frothy music from the ’60s and ’70s. You talk about how you feel. So naturally there’s more going on underneath the surface. Maybe you could say the same for (God Help The Girl).”

God Help The Girl (Not Rated, 111 minutes) hits theaters and Vimeo On Demand September 5.

Hannah Murray, Olly Alexander, & Emily Browning in 'God Help The Girl' (Amplify Releasing)
Hannah Murray, Olly Alexander, & Emily Browning in ‘God Help The Girl’ (Amplify Releasing)

Greg Srisavasdi

I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

Greg Srisavasdi has 1330 posts and counting. See all posts by Greg Srisavasdi

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