Everything's Getting Older CD
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Everything's Getting Older [Explicit]
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Some partnerships just work, even if it takes time. Eight years in the making, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat's debut album is full of gorgeous, jazz-inflected love songs fleshed out with a mixture of spoken word pieces and vocals delivered in Aidan's distinctive rhotic singing voice.
Wells is a Scottish multi-instrumentalist, composer, leader of the Bill Wells Trio and collaborator with The Pastels, Isobel Campbell, Future Pilot AKA and many more. Moffat is a modern-day Makar of many guises: Aidan John Moffat; Aidan Moffat & the Best-Ofs; his experimental work as L Pierre (aka Lucky Pierre) and, of course, his esteemed calling as one half of the iconic Scots duo Arab Strap.
"Everything’s Getting Older." You can almost hear Aidan Moffat sigh, quietly repeating it, muttering it with an embittered acceptance. As a serial miserablist, his ability to convey a venomous dissatisfaction is unparalleled, seemingly happy to sink into the role of the archetypal wretched bastard.
Moffat once said: "No one really writes honest, hateful love songs; the kids never hear it like they should hear it – they should know about the farting, the fighting and the f***ing, the pain and the pleasure." So it’s no surprise that, even after the combustion of Arab Strap, his projects haven’t once compromised his ethos.
Eight years in the making, Everything’s Getting Older is just as followers of Moffat’s work would expect. Inspired by a partnership with fellow Scot and multi-instrumentalist, Bill Wells, it’s an album that’s undeniably tender. It unveils the raw nerves Moffat’s never been afraid to expose; but there’s also a caustic, depraved undertone, which drives beyond the twinkling melodies and pensive piano chords.
Breathless and romantic, lovelorn and lusting, Moffat’s characteristic honesty and intensity regales us with stories of debauched, primal rutting, guiltless affairs and the apathetic aftermath. Backed by Wells’ compositions – the jazz and percussive interludes menacingly skitter and stab in the background – tracks like Cages possess a deliciously unsettling atmosphere, and there are plenty of similarly uneasy pleasures throughout.
The mournful The Copper Top is an arresting, spoken-word stream of consciousness from a man alone with his thoughts, while Dinner Time may give your next meal a worryingly Hitchcock-esque drama. But when Moffat finds a groove and starts to spit the vitriol, as he seethes on Glasgow Jubilee, it’s a fearsome exercise in caustic delivery. Cool, cold and bristling with contempt, the dead-eyed scorn is brilliant in its callousness. But for all the reticence, the beauty of his work has always been his wry, dry sense of humour, capable of undoing the malaise he paints so disdainfully in an instant.
It’s easy to revel in Moffat’s bleak wordplay and his everyman observations, but behind the black clouds and bitterness there are reminders of love and tempered optimism, encompassed by The Greatest Story Ever Told. It’s a powerful ode to things finite which could so easily have been a needlessly ostentatious flourish – that it’s not undermined and overblown owes much to the commitment of making despondency a beautiful thing.
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Top customer reviews
a very happy man and there is little in his collaboration
with fellow Scottish multi-instrumentalist Bill Wells to
discount this hypothesis. It matters not a jot. This album
delivers one of the most sublime slices of trancendent misery
I have ever encountered. Drama, pathos, love and loss and a
thousand grubby details of a life lived-hard with a jaundiced
eye and the nerve to look death in the face and stare it down!
The rough and rasping delivery of the truly chilling but darkly
humourous 'Cages' put me in mind of another of Mr Moffat's
countrymen, the psychiatrist/guru R.D. Laing, who's extraordinary
(hear it if you can get hold of if - I'll lend you my vinyl
copy if you're very good!) 1978 album 'Life Before Death', scrapes
and skids around in a similar dark pool of human emotional detritus.
There are no un-stained souls in Mr Moffat's universe!
'The Sadness In Your Life Will Surely Fade' is a hugely poignant
composition which offers no real hope that it will but perhaps
that's the point : if life isn't really going to get much better
perhaps we should make the most of it just as it is but ensuring
that we notice the small details on the way. Dissolution, despair
and decay have rarely been so knowingly served! A morbid masterpiece.
There is, however, tenderness too. 'Let's Stop Here' is a song
so raw and beautiful it almost hurts to listen to it. The spare but
luminous arrangement frames one of Mr Moffat's finest compositions
and vocal performances. When the abrupt ending comes the last breath we
took is left hanging in the air like a half-remembered dream.
The final track 'And So We Must Rest' sounds as though Mr Moffat
may have been singing the song with his mouth pressed up against a
crack in the studio door. A sombre lullaby and a perfect ending.
somewhere unseen and deep inside
the lucky sperm and egg collide
the zygote's little cells divide
the morula goes for a ride
this tiny tryst makes blastocyst
and soon the mind and heart exist
and soon you arrive
THere aren't many things better than hearing Aidan welcoming the birth of a child in his unique style, augmented by Bill Wells beautiful music.
Do give it a listen.......
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