“I want you, I’m stupid. Don’t blame me, blame cupid – his aims never been all that hot. But he hit both with our hearts with his random wee darts, my love you just got what you got.”
So sings Aidan Moffat in his lovable Scottish tones on A Scenic Route to the Isle of Ewe from his new album. As Valentines Day inspired declarations of love go it doesn’t quite set the soul aflame with the aching heat of romance. But that’s not what Aidan’s here for.
The bearded miserablist best known for his work with Arab Strap is of course here to document love in a far more realistic way. Less champagne and oysters, more “lift up your skirt and I’ll fill you with babies”.
Obviously his talent for the filth has not deserted him, and How to Get to Heaven from Scotland finds Moffat in a playful, and concise, mood. Just check out lead single Big Blonde, a jaunty two-minute slice of folky indie sparked by the happy realisation that the girl he had been ogling on the street was in fact his girlfriend.
Similarly quirky but sadder in tone is Atheists Lament, where Moffat describes how his lack of any belief in God, psychics, or the afterlife makes it all the harder when missing his absent Grandfather. “I almost wish I did,” he opines over a gentle bosanova beat, “Because then you could watch over me, drop some hints and get me through.”
Musically speaking the album lurches about all over the place, from the grating accordion and backing vocals on bawdy drinking song Oh Men! to the human beat-boxing on Lover’s Song. It also contains the nerve-shattering sound of what sounds like my alarm clock – which no album should ever do. But the wit and honesty of the man shine through, a lo-fi muse holding everything together.
Moffat demands you buy this for your loved one as a Valentine’s gift, but if that will prove impossible you can get the special edition which contains a board game and a nice card from the man himself for your barren windowsill. You’ll still need some friends to play the board game, however.
Words: Adam Bambury