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This Week’s Past Life: “They Laugh Behind the Trees and She Lays Naked in the Clearing”

arab strap This Week’s Past Life: “They Laugh Behind the Trees and She Lays Naked in the Clearing”

Arab StrapThe Week Never Starts Round Here

1996, Chemikal Underground

Back in the mid-1990’s two Scottish lads met and formed a band. Their names were Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton, and the band they formed was Arab Strap. Arab Strap held its place firmly in the Scotland music scene for a decade before parting ways. Their influence on fellow Scot bands was undeniable – Belle and Sebastian named their third album, The Boy with the Arab Strap, after the band.

Over the ten-year span, Arab Strap released six studio albums, several singles, compilations and EPs, however, no album of theirs sticks to me like a fine stinky cheese quite like their debut release, The Week Never Starts Round Here. The first song I ever heard off the album was “The Clearing,” and to this day, I still wonder why it’s the second song and not the first on the record as it’s one of the most intense, dark, and gorgeously sinister songs ever written.

Like their name, Arab Strap’s songs are steeped in sexual allusion, reeking of alcohol, drugs and sex – kinda like a brothel on a Sunday morning. Each track is an escalation of gripped excitement that holds you at the threshold, and although it doesn’t let you down, it sort of leaves you hanging on for the second album in line all while being seduced by the Scottish purr of singer Moffat. Simply, it’s as delicious as a forbidden fruit and just as sour on the tongue.

By: Amanda Chatel

“The Clearing,” from The Week Never Starts Round Here:

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