Arab Strap Announce First Album in 16 Years, Share New Song “Compersion Pt. 1” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, January 24th, 2021  

Arab Strap Announce First Album in 16 Years, Share New Song “Compersion Pt. 1”

As Days Get Dark Due Out March 5, 2021 via Rock Action

Nov 24, 2020 Photography by Kat Gollack
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Scottish duo Arab Strap (Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton) have announced their first album in 16 years, As Days Get Dark, making the announcement in tandem with the release of a new single, “Compersion Pt. 1,” which will be featured on the album. As Days Get Dark will be out on March 5, 2021 via Rock Action. You can listen to “Compersion Pt. 1” below, as well as check out the album art and tracklist for As Days Get Dark.

Frontman Aidan Moffat talks about the meaning of “Compersion Pt. 1” in a press release, where he says that the song “depicts a quest to find the ever-elusive unicorn; to bond fluidly—and safely—with the like-minded and adventurous, in the comforting arms of an anonymous hotel...and the stark realization that you never really wanted it.” 

Speaking on the album, Moffat states, “It’s about hopelessness and darkness, but in a fun way.” Moffat goes on to clarify that the intent for this latest album is not to “recapture the ’90s,” but to capture something new and unexplored for the group. “This album feels like its own new thing to me,” he says. “It’s definitely Arab Strap, but an older and wiser one, and quite probably a better one. I've never been interested in making slick records, but the new stuff sounds much fuller, brighter and better because we actually know what we're doing. I think for a long time we didn't know how to express what we wanted in a studio.” Nonetheless, he still reaffirms that “we're still doing what we always do: Malcolm [Middleton] gives me some guitar parts then I’ll fuck about with them and put some drum machines and words over the top.” 

Bandmate Malcolm Middleton also had a few things to say regarding the album in a press release: “We've had enough distance from our earlier work to reappraise and dissect the good and bad elements of what we did. Not many bands get to do this, so it's great to split up.” For this album, Moffat and Middleton have reconnected with producer Paul Savage. “Paul brings comfort and trust,” says Middleton, “and a sense of continuity.” 

Middleton makes a final statement regarding the band’s reunion and the new sonic direction they are exploring on the album: “There's no point getting back together to release mediocrity.”  

In September, Arab Strap released the single “The Turning of Our Bones,” which was the first song they had released in 15 years and is the album’s opening track. It was featured on our Songs of the Week list in the first week of September. The band’s last album was 2005’s The Last Romance. 

Arab Strap were interviewed in Under the Radar’s very first print issue in 2001, for The Red Thread, an album released the same year.

As Days Get Dark Tracklist: 

1. The Turning of Our Bones
2. Another Clockwork Day
3. Compersion Pt. 1
4. Bluebird
5. Kebabylon
6. Tears on Tour
7. Here Comes Comus !
8. Fable of the Urban Fox
9. I Was Once a Weak Man
10. Sleeper
11. Just Enough

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