Arab Strap – Bliss

12th June 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

Arab Strap put on their disco shoes for new single Bliss, calling out toxic masculinity, online violence and harassment of women.

After yesterday’s post by Mike Skinner/The Streets, here is Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap. I was going to say “Scottish miserabilist duo” Arab Strap but, to be fair, they’re as funny as they are miserable.

That’s underlined by the title of their new album, which is as follows (complete with emojis, copied from a text from their drummer): I’m totally fine with it 👍don’t give a fuck anymore 👍

Some of their songs (I say “songs” but they’re more like anecdotes and diary entries set to music) have an acoustic folky flavour, while others have an electronic underpinning: this is one of the latter. It’s almost disco.

As for the lyrics – and it’s always about the lyrics – Moffat’s perfectly constructed couplets are about toxic masculinity, violence and the online harassment that women suffer in today’s world.

You don’t go to Arab Strap for light relief; you go to hear about the world around you viewed through the blurry eyes of a middle-aged cynic whom you might encounter over a drink or two – or three, or four – in a Glasgow pub.

Rarely, if ever, have the pros and cons of internet culture, and of trolling, been skewered with quite so much accuracy, summed up in the final couplet of the song: “We built another world / But history and hate prevail.”