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There Is No Ending: Arab Strap's Best Tracks

15 June 2016, 18:15

Arab Strap's Big Announcement is definitely something to shout about, and we're celebrating with the Best Tracks from Arab Strap.

They made a lot of music between 1996 and 2006, but the Scottish duo of Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton called it a day after 2005's The Last Romance. Now they're coming back.

Fans never ceased being enamoured by their singular mesh of delightful bluntness with sparse textures, occasional hugeness, wit, sensitivity, reality, drugs, drink, sex, friendship, love, and everything in between.

We had a dive into their catalogue, rummaged around, and came back with these 10 jewels.

The First Big Weekend

Of-fucking-course this is on the list. It's the quintessential night out track, with a beat kicking in perfectly at the mention of The Arches nightclub. Stow your Guettas and your Rihannas, and blast this one loud.

Hey! Fever

This is a revisitation of the "The First Big Weekend", but for a more sedate summer piss up. It's got piano, wurlitzer, and choir, and points to more mature Arab Strap. Maybe.

Don't Die Just Yet (The Holiday Girl)

Not strictly Arab Strap, but a gem nonetheless. Moffat and Middleton inject a dose of nostalgic regret to David Holmes' swooping cinematic, orchestral arrangement.

Packs Of Three

The greatest opening line in the history of music. It's characteristically dour and crass, and full of Arab Strap's one-of-a-kind charm that no one's mastered before or since.


This almost reaches Mogwai levels of post-rock loveliness, despite being lyrically devastating. It sparkles in the darkness, and that uhn-tiss beat beneath drives the noise towards a space-age end.


The Shy Retirer

It's bitter and it's beautiful. Wiry riffs cavort with wry lyrics and maudlin strings, and there are some excellent rhymes within - this is one of Arab Strap's finest moments.

New Birds

A world-changing moment of lucidity: what you have isn't worth throwing away over one night. The kiss at home is better than anything else. A simple sentiment perfectly executed.

Girls Of Summer

This is the most epic and noisy Arab Strap have ever been. Evolving over eight-and-a-bit minutes, the track grows from wistful to weary to warrior strong to world ending - it runs through every weapon M&M have at their disposal.

Love Detective

Paranoia, mistrust, broken relationships... all the ingredients for a dazzling track, right? Well you're not gonna be walking down the aisle to it, probably, but it's hard to deny the power at play here.

There Is No Ending

They've played the long game, but the triumphant final track on Arab Strap's final album called it (probably).

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