Arab Strap Return with “The Turning of Our Bones”, First New Song in 15 Years: Stream

Described as a "voodoo spell" about "resurrection and shagging"

Arab Strap New Song Turning Of Our Bones
Arab Strap, photo by Paul Savage

It’s been 15 long years since Arab Strap dropped new material. That changes today with “The Turning of Our Bones”, their first release since the 2005 album The Last Romance.

“WE’RE BACK FROM THE GRAVE AND READY TO RAVE,” the Scottish outfit announced on Instagram on Tuesday. And they weren’t kidding about the rave part.

Arab Strap’s music, composed by primary members Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton, helped define the sadcore genre in the late ’90s and early 2000s. However, “The Turning of Our Bones” represents a striking evolution in their sound, as the two musicians now employ electronic drums, disco strings, and bongos that take on a more urgent tone.

In a press release, Moffat said the song is an “incantation, a voodoo spell to raise the dead. Inspired by the Famadihana ritual of the Malagasy people of Madagascar, in which they dance with the corpses of loved ones; it’s all about resurrection and shagging.” His sing-talking vocal style works well with the ritualistic undertones, and the whole thing quickly feels like a dark chant.

The comeback single’s corresponding video features clips culled from older horror and thriller films. Much of this footage includes lots of blood and nudity — Arab Strap, in keeping with their name, have never been known to shy away from sexual honesty, even when their songs were as chill as a Scottish winter. Check it out below.

Arab Strap called it quits shortly after the release of The Last Romance. The pair reunited 10 years later for a string of UK festival appearances, as well as performed together at Iceland Airwaves in 2017. Here’s hoping that this new single means a proper Arab Strap reunion album is finally in the works.