Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert
“The album title has a dual meaning – sex and death.” These are common themes from Aidan Moffat; since his early days with Arab Strap, he has explored these subjects with a grace and grit that plunges deep into the human soul. But this is no re-hash of the past, rather a further leap forward for Moffat, now teaming up with fellow Scot, singer and guitarist extraordinaire, RM Hubbert, for this new project.
“It can be read as romantic surrender, but of course it’s also a phrase you’ll find on a tombstone,” Moffat elaborates. Equally multidimensional is the music contained within, weaving beautiful, spidery guitar work, haunting piano lines, lush strings, delicate percussion, fizzing 808 beats, synth pop, samba, and moments of jazz, while Moffat’s rich voice carries the narrative in rich grumbles, hushed whispers, and revealing spoken word.
The album begins with first single Cockcrow and a chance encounter of two old flames as they enjoy hen and stag parties in Blackpool – the album follows their story as it moves forwards (and backwards) with wit and wisdom, exploring themes of love, family, fortune telling, deceit, death, Schrodinger’s cat, the multiverse … and marshmallows. The narrative was influenced, Moffat says, by “an article I read about mothers who abandon their families, and how that still remains a pretty taboo subject in our times. When marriages break down, it’s almost always the man who leaves.”
The video for Cockcrow was directed by Paul Fegan, who made 2016’s ‘Where You’re Meant to Be’ Scottish folk doc with Moffat and is based solely around a performance by Dundee ballet dancer Jack Webb. “It was inspired by a dance piece I saw performed last year by Scottish Ballet. Aidan, Hubby and Siobhan’s song felt both tender and cold, vulnerable and hopeful. Jack Webb, Julian Schwanitz (Cinematographer) and I decided on a simple one-shot idea based on these conflicting emotions. Something dream-like. And we wanted to include a bed given it’s a prominent element in the singles cover art. Bridging a traditional music video and a performance piece, it’s lit in a way that makes the dancer appear like a living painting, specifically an old master, obscured by time – but fierce.” Says Fegan.
Siobhan Wilson, whose vocals you can also hear on Cockcrow, along with former Arab Strap drummer David Jeans, will be joining Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert