Posts Tagged ‘Rock Action Records’

See the source image

Last week Scottish duo Arab Strap (Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton) 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 5th, 2021 via Rock Action.

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. The band’s last album was 2005’s The Last Romance.

Scotland’s Arab Strap—the duo of Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat—dissolved amicably in 2006, not long after the release of their album The Last Romance. Their separation lasted for more than a decade, with the pair reuniting on stage for a handful of festival dates in 2016. But September brought “The Turning of Our Bones,” Arab Strap’s first new song in 15 years, and they announced the album with the track “Compersion Pt. 1” later in the year. Moffat has said As Days Get Dark is “about hopelessness and darkness, but in a fun way.”

Our new album ‘As Days Get Dark’ will have an indie record shop exclusive pressing of Two Tone (clear + black) colour vinyl. Out 5th March 2021.

Perhaps the most surprising return of all though came courtesy of Falkirk’s finest musical songs, Arab Strap.

The world last heard from the duo of Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat back in 2005, when they seemingly called it a day with their sixth album, The Last Romance. Described by The Guardian as the, “grimy sonic embodiment of hedonism and hangovers”, Arab Strap formed in 1995 when the pair bonded over a shared love of the likes of Smog and Will Oldham. The band broke-up amicably in 2006 after the release of their 2005 album The Last Romance album, but reformed in 2016 for some reunion gigs.

Few bands better channelled the wild pleasure-seeking decadence of post-Thatcherite Britain than Arab Strap. With their blend of modern folk storytelling and rave culture, they sang songs of drink, drugs and (often failed) sexual encounters, with a distinctly Scottish edge.

In many ways they were the embodiment of a boom period in Scottish music. A movement of independent creativity was spearheaded by their label Chemikal Underground, who gave the world the likes of Mogwai, Bis and The Delgados. Suddenly Scotland was cool, with its blending of artsy-cool and edgy grit, and it had a soundtrack entirely of its own creation, with Arab Strap right at the heart of it all.

While the pair have never left the musical world, both releasing various solo and collaborative projects, fifteen years is a long time for any band to be away. Thankfully their return, new single, The Turning Of Our Bones, shows they haven’t lost any of their edge. A moody five-minutes, as a propulsive rhythm is punctuated by meandering guitar-lines and that spoken word style vocal delivery, that sketches out a tale of lust and decay, “the heart began to putrify and then the body bloated, as our hair and teeth fell out we did our best to be devoted”. As the band put it, they’re back from the grave and ready to rave, age has done nothing to dim their creativity or unique musical vision, if Arab Strap are having a party you’d be daft not to join them.

7″ Vinyl with exclusive B-side is out 23rd October on Rock Action Records


Glasgow is a special place, and the bands it produces are often very special.  The Yummy Fur are no exception, if you haven’t listened to them before then do.  There’s lots of great 90’s indie on display here and Piggy Wings is an excellent greatest hits compilation.  Besides, if it’s good enough for John Peel, then it’s good enough for us.

Singer / guitarist, John McKeown, fronted the band from their 1992 inception (scores of cartoon melodies under a minute long delivered at high velocity) until their demise in 1999. Along the way they recorded three albums: Night Club (1996), Male Shadow at Three O’Clock (1998) and Sexy World (1999). Firm favourites of John Peel, they recorded two sessions for the much revered DJ and regularly featured on his show.

The Yummy Fur were a Glasgow based art-rock group who existed between 1992-99. Throughout their existence they were led by vocalist/guitarist John McKeown, with a host of collaborators and co-conspirators over the years.

Taken from Piggy Wings – the best of The Yummy Fur Out 18th October 2019 on Rock Action Records

Glasgow based indie-pop duo release their vibrant new album Run Around The Sun. The follow-up to Strike A Match their SAY Award winning debut, is released via Rock Action. The album is joyous, charming and effortless with bounce and pop elements that hark back to the glory days of late 70’s DIY singles from the likes of the Chefs, Dolly Mixture and Girls at Our Best mixed with an African edge.

Sacred Paws have a natural inclination not to take things too seriously. You can hear it all the way through a conversation with its two members, guitarist Rachel Aggs and drummer Eilidh Rodgers, punctuated by rolls of giggles and thoughtful pauses, and you can hear it in the light touch they bring to their music, a jangly blend of indie-pop full of fizzing world rhythms and bright horns.”

Run Around The Sun Out 31st May on Rock Action Records (Merge in North America)

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor

Formed back in 2014 following the demise of their previous band Golden Grrrls, Sacred Paws are a band who are steadily making impressive waves. Their 2017 debut album, Strike A Match, saw the duo bag the prestigious Scottish Album Of The Year prize, tour across Europe and receive near universal critical acclaim. They made the probably sensible decision not to rush a follow-up out into the world, and thankfully the wait seems to be drawing towards a close with the release this week of a brand new track, “Brush Your Hair”.

In many ways, “Brush Your Hair” picks up where the band left-off, the intricate guitar work, perfect vocal harmonies and infectious rhythms remain; equal part punkish energy, artsy experimentation and perhaps most crucially, a lot of fun. It’s near impossible not to have a good time listening to Sacred Paws, we find our feet involuntarily twitching with the snare drum, our knees shimmying in time to the rapid-fire guitar work. With the promise of more news to come soon, Sacred Paws could just be the sound of 2019.

Brush Your Hair is out now via Rock Action Records.

Patience AKA Roxanne Clifford, formerly of Veronica Falls. found time to direct this lo-fi new video from Sacred Paws. Sacred Paws are the duo of Rachel Aggs (also a member of Shopping/Trash Kit) and Eilidh Rodgers, who are based in London and Glasgow, although some 400 miles apart from one another. The pair are releasing a new single next week via Mogwai’s Rock Action Records, and have celebrated it by sharing their new video for their new single release “Everyday”.

Everyday is the first new material from Sacred Paws since last year’s excellent and accurately titled EP, Six Songs. Everyday is built around an infectious afro-beat guitar riff with complex rhythms and clever vocal harmonies . It would have made an excellent soundtrack to long summer evenings, I hope to hear a lot more from this talented twosome in the coming months.

The lo-fi video for ‘Everyday’ where you can often see the duo having a great time laughing – is an infectious addendum to an already catchy song.

Everyday/Rest is out October 21st via Rock Action Records.

Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers formed Sacred Paws while they were playing together in the indie pop band Golden Grrrls, then kept going after that band split. Despite living in London and Glasgow, respectively, the thrill they felt playing together was enough to make the distance traveled to play and record worth every boring minute on a train or bus. That thrill comes through loud and clear on their first album, the Afro-pop-inspired Strike a Match. Aggs’ jangling, spiraling guitar playing, her pulsing bass, and Rodgers‘ athletic drumming form the core of their sound, with the duo’s vocals floating over the top in unison, trading lines or in rich harmony.

They are clearly in deep debt to masters like Fela and off-kilter dance punks like Delta 5, and there’s plenty of indie pop sweetness in their vocal interplay, but none of that matters unless the listener is the grumpiest kind of stickler. The bubbling rhythms, sharp-as-a-punch hooks, and ace guitar playing and drumming help push the record past nostalgia to a very happy place; the absolute joy in the singing and playing makes musical trainspotting feel like a crime; and the songs are bright enough to fill even the gloomiest bedsit with an overpowering warmth. The occasional fuzzy synths and shimmering horns add even more sunshine to their already blazing core, making songs like “Nothing” and “Everyday” sound like the most peacefully happy music on earth. Even when Sacred Paws dial it back some and bring in a little melancholy, like on “Wet Graffiti,” they do it with gentle care and bouncy energy that fit perfectly with the uptempo, dancefloor-friendly tracks making up the bulk of the album. Aggs and Rodgers went through a lot of hard work to make Strike a Match, but the end result sounds effortless and feels as breezy and light as any pop music around. Strike a Match is a brilliant debut album with a solid emotional core that gives the instantly memorable songs gravity and keeps them from lifting off and floating away, instead anchoring them deep in listeners’ hearts and minds.

The title track of the debut album, out now on Rock Action Records.

Out Lines

Indie supergroup Out Lines release a single, ‘Buried Guns’, via Rock Action Records.

Out Lines is a new collaborative project between Kathryn Joseph, the singer-songwriter behind 2015 SAY Award-winning album bones you have thrown me and blood I’ve spilled; James Graham, frontman for Glaswegian indie treasures The Twilight Sad; and Marcus Mackay, critically-acclaimed producer, songwriter and percussionist, and founder of iconic recording studio The Diving Bell Lounge.

Joseph provides piano and harmonium, with Mackay contributing live and programmed percussion as well bass synth with Graham and Joseph taking turns at lead vocals.

The threesome got together following what was originally intended as a one-off performance at Platform in April 2016. The Easterhouse venue regularly hosts events programmed by former Delgado Alun Woodward and it was as part of the Outskirts Festival that Graham and Joseph translated stories heard through their conversations with locals into songs with Mackay, founder of the Diving Bell Lounge studio, steering the live sound.

An album ‘Conflats’ – recorded at Diving Bell, mixed by Tony Doogan at Mogwai’s Castle of Doom, and mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Frank Arkwright – is due out on October 27th, with artwork by Scott Hutchinson out of Frightened Rabbit.

‘Buried Guns’ is taken from the album ‘Conflats’, out 27th October 2017 on Rock Action Records.