Belle & Sebastian’s The Boy With The Arab Strap was one of the first albums I ever bought. It was 1998. I was 12-years-old and seriously in love with Stuart Murdoch. While my fellow students were listening to Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys, I was listening to these lovely Scottish indie darlings. I felt cool for listening to Belle & Sebastian because (1) no one at my junior high school knew who the hell Belle & Sebastian were and (2) I imagined they were the kind of band only clove cigarette smoking, tea drinking, artist types listened to in their dorm rooms. I don’t know. I was twelve. I’d listen to this album over and over again trying to absorb their genius by osmosis, trying to inject them right into my bloodstream.  It’s this oddly infectious combination of 60s pop and these beautifully sad songs, with some filthy lyrics thrown in for good measure. This is probably Belle & Sebastian’s best album and I think my love affair with music began here. The Boy With The Arab Strap has been with me for the past 12 years and I’m bringing it with me to the island.