Belle And Sebastian have shared a new single called ‘If They’re Shooting At You’ alongside an accompanying video in support of those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
The Scottish group enlisted various photographers who are on the ground covering the ongoing crisis to create a powerful “visual collage” set to their latest single, which will appear on their 10th album ‘A Bit Of Previous’.
As well as offering a message of solidarity and hope, Belle And Sebastian have pledged to donate all artist income from the song – including streaming, digital sales and publishing royalties – to the Red Cross.
Additionally, donations made via Bandcamp until next Friday (March 18) will be matched by the UK government as part of a joint appeal with the Disasters Emergency Committee. An option to donate directly is also available with the song on streaming platforms.
“When the situation in Ukraine first started to happen it became clear that the lives of the people there, and probably ‘ours’ too, were never going to be the same,” said frontman Stuart Murdoch.
“The band had just started rolling out tracks for our new album, and it all felt a bit silly to be honest. We had one track called ‘If They’re Shooting At You’, it’s a song about being lost, broken and under threat of violence. The key line is: ‘If they’re shooting at you kid you must be doing something right‘.”
Murdoch continued: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and hope that their pain and suffering can be brought to a halt as soon as possible.
“We got in touch with various photographers and creatives in Ukraine and they generously said that we could put their pictures to music. In creating this we aspire to show a hopeful, defiant side, as well as bringing an awareness to the plight of the people there.”
He added: “We think any way in which we can get behind Ukraine – politically, culturally, practically, spiritually – it must all add up in the end. Together we have to do what it takes to help Ukraine beat this tyranny.”
Murdoch went on to ask fans to consider making a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee, the Red Cross “or any other humanitarian charity involved in the crisis”.
“If you choose to donate to the Red Cross, please visit here redcross.org.uk/ukraine,” he wrote. “They are part of the joint appeal with the DEC until March 18th, and money donated before then will be matched by the UK government.”
Many figures from the worlds of music and entertainment have posted messages of support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine in recent weeks. Elton John said he was “heartbroken” over the “nightmare” that civilians are facing, while Miley Cyrus called for “an immediate end to this violence”.
Various acts have also cancelled their scheduled performances in Russia and Ukraine, including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Iggy Pop, My Chemical Romance, Green Day and Franz Ferdinand.
On Wednesday (March 9), the latter band made a last-minute appearance at a fundraising gig for Ukraine at the Roundhouse in Camden, London. The Night For Ukraine event also featured performances from the likes of Bob Geldof and Chrissie Hynde.
Speaking to NME from London late last month, Ukrainian electro-pop duo Bloom Twins described the current situation in their home country as “terrifying”.
“It has really affected us,” singer Anna Kuprienko said. “We were only there two months ago. We were hopeful that this situation with Russia wouldn’t go where it has and that it would resolve.”
In other news, Factory Records co-founder Alan Erasmus recently travelled to Ukraine to work with humanitarian organisations in the country.
You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.