Aidan Moffat & The Best Ofs have a new record out. It's called How To Get From Heaven From Scotland, it's about lurve, and it's to be released on February 14th as a special Valentine's Day box set.
Included: CD and vinyl versions of the album, a 7" with covers of Sonny and Cher's 'I Got You Babe' and Glen Campbell's 'Love Is Not A Game', a 5 track CD EP featuring 4 alternate versions of album tracks and a bonus track, plus a "How To Get To Heaven From Scotland" board game (play online here) and a Valentine's Card personally signed and numbered by Aidan himself.
"The perfect Valentine's Day gift for a loved one," concludes its author.
This is an overseas plea, a simple little song about a sometimes geographically-challenged romance. A woman wrote to me recently to say that she had heard it online and copied down the lyrics to send to her man in the army, which I thought was perfect. The arrangement is for cello, woodwind and human beat-box – there can't be many of those, can there?
A little country song from a little country, describing that incredible and joyous instant when we realise that we're finally over our ex and comfortably in love with someone new.
I once dreamt that my grandfather's ghost was standing beside my bed, keeping a watchful eye on me. I woke up but was still in that half dream state and for a moment was certain he was there. I was too terrified to turn around, not because I was afraid but because I knew that he wouldn't be there and I would have loved to see him again. I think this fear is what lies at the heart of all religious belief.
A lads' shout-along about appreciating the physical allure of the female of the species that tries to turn into a feminist statement and then talks its way out of a slap in the face. Hopefully successfully.
'A Scenic Route To The Isle Of Ewe'
All about falling out on holiday. Sonically, I put the Brian Eno advice to use – the guitar was so creaky and noisy that rather than clean it up and give it a pop shine, we accentuated the creaks and noise. I'm not interested in pop shine anyway.
'That's Just Love'
I played everything on this, which is why it sounds incompetent but – hopefully – good fun. I'm sure it was meant to be a daft B-side experiment but I became very attached to it as a sort of light relief moment. We do a quiet version live which is quite lovely because it has proper musicians playing it rather than my chubby digits straining round a banjo's neck.
'Ballad Of The Unsent Letter'
If you know my previous work then it will probably come as no surprise that the man in this ballad is me, but I think it's the first time I've sang about myself in third person. It was written years ago after Arab Strap's last American tour, which was very, very hard work.
'Now I Know I'm Right'
In which I name the three most important girls in my past and attempt to pleasantly explain what went wrong. After all those Arab Strap songs, it's the least I could do. The name's aren't really important, though – listeners can hopefully apply their own exes to the song.
'The Last Kiss'
A love song about the passing of time and brain surgery.
'Lullaby For Unborn Child'
A song of about the hope and fear of impending fatherhood, featuring my unborn (at the time) son's heartbeat, as recorded in the midwife's room about ten months ago. The boy's about eight months now and fatherhood is as joyous as I'd hoped, although no less scary than I'd imagined.
'Living With You Now'
A grapefruit isn't a particularly effective weapon, which is probably why I used it in the first place. The sound effects at the end are the genuine sounds of what it's like to wake up in bed next to me... you lucky, lucky people.
Or lack thereof. This started off as a mess about to fill some time on a rare day when we'd finished what we wanted to do early, so I hummed a little tune and the wonderful Stevie Jones and Alan Barr seemed to understand what I meant. Kismet!
- How To Get From Heaven From Scotland is released as a Valentine's box set on - duh - February 14th (tomorrow!), with a full release to follow two days later on Monday February 16th via Chemikal Underground.