Belle and Sebastian have released “If They’re Shooting At You,” a new song that pledges support for individuals affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The track’s companion video is comprised of images from the frontlines and features work by a variety of Ukraine-based photographers covering the invasion, including Vadim Ghirda, Andreea Alexandru, and Mikhail Palinchak.
“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,” frontman Stuart Murdoch explained in a statement. “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.’”
He continued, “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. 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.”
Belle And Sebastian have pledged all income from the song — including streaming and digital sales, as well as publishing royalties — to the Red Cross. Donations made via Bandcamp until March 18 will be matched by the U.K. government as part of the joint appeal with the Disasters Emergency Committee. An option to donate directly is also available with the song on streaming platforms.
In a statement, the band noted, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we salute their bravery and hope this war can be brought to a halt as soon as possible. We are all Ukrainian now.”
“If They’re Shooting at You” will appear on Belle and Sebastian’s tenth album, A Bit of Previous, out May 6. The song was co-produced by the band and Shawn Everett. The indie stalwarts are set to hit the road across the U.S. starting in late May. They’ll also head back to the United Kingdom in the fall, before touring Europe early next year.