Arab Strap wade through hopelessness and darkness on ‘As Days Get Dark’

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Arab Strap wade through hopelessness and darkness on ‘As Days Get Dark’

Photo by Kat Gollack

Scottish miserabilists Arab Strap join Beat’s Turning Heads podcast to speak about their new album, As Days Get Dark

Turning Heads speaks to Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat from Scottish indie rock band Arab Strap. Arab Strap’s new album, As Days Get Dark, is their first in 16 years.

Arab Strap formed in 1995. Their debut album, The Week Never Starts Around Here, arrived the following year. It was led by the single ‘The First Big Weekend’, which has become the group’s signature song, combining spoken word vocals, drum machines, plucked guitars and themes of unglamorous late-night hedonism.

They’d go on to release a total of six studio albums, including 2003’s Monday at the Hug & Pint and 2005’s The Last Romance, before calling it quits in 2006. Middleton and Moffat both carved out solo careers and engaged in various other collaborative projects over the next decade before reforming Arab Strap in 2016.

They’ve toured intermittently since then and in September 2020 released their first new single in 15 years. That song, ‘The Turning Of Our Bones’, appears as the first track on As Days Get Dark, which is out now via Rock Action/Best & Fairest.

The band’s various sonic and thematic signatures – drum machines, arpeggiated guitars, strings, spoken word vocals and themes of sex and death – remain intact, but As Days Get Dark is a musclier and more melodically persuasive record than any of the band’s earlier work.

In the podcast, Malcolm and Aidan speak about the benefits of breaking up, the themes behind many of the songs on the new album and the experience of working together again after so many years apart.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with another episode of Turning Heads next week. You can follow the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

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