Aidan Moffat

Blending two formats in one

Aidan MoffatJust a few hours ago, the bearded Aidan Moffat— Arab Strap’s candid narrator of the depths of the soul and the mechanisms of desire—informed us of a new and curious project called “Ten Short Songs For Modern Lovers”. Moffat explains how he came up with it: “On rare occasions, I receive an email from my music publisher with a brief for a television ad in the hope that I might have a suitable song to help punt some corporate brand. I’ve never been keen on doing ads, but I’m not remotely rich and I really do need the money, so I have a new philosophy of Say Yes To Everything. I didn’t have anything suitable for this particular brief, but I’d had the first two lines of a song floating around my brain for a while, and they seemed to have the right sort of ‘vibe’. I wrote and recorded the minute-long song and was pretty pleased with it, and apparently the corporation in question quite liked it too, but then they decided to completely overhaul the idea for the ad, which rendered my song useless. So I was left with a wee song that I was quite proud of (it’s called ‘Buttoned’), and I didn’t know what to do with it. Then I was reading yet another doom-and-gloom article about the continual decline of the music industry, and how the album as a concept is moribund – which isn’t quite true, but that’s a conversation best left for the pub – and how these days it’s all about The Song, the individual, downloadable hit single. So I had a brainwave: I would write and record a ten-track album that would fit on the classic and original single format, the 45 rpm 7” vinyl record. I persuaded My Better Half to take my son out for most of a sunny weekend and locked myself in the flat to write and record what has now been titled Ten Short Songs For Modern Lovers.”

The 7” comes out in October via Chemikal Undergound, with a downloadable digital version to follow in November, of which he says, “Which kind of defeats the original intention, I know, but I had to come to a compromise somehow, and the sad truth is that many of you don’t have record players anymore.” We’ll still have to wait for the release of his album in collaboration with Bill Wells. The first single—already recorded but not yet with a title—will be released on Valentine’s Day next year.

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