Ex-Arab Strap wordsmith Malcolm Middleton’s back with his fifth solo album, Waxing Gibbous. As he puts it, “This is a very self-aware record, which is hard if you’re aware that what you’re doing may not be any good.” Thing is, it is good, especially the standout “Carry Me.” We asked him about it.
“Carry Me” has a hopelessness to it, but the character’s situation is complicated via your use of humor. What’s the story behind it?
I suppose “Carry Me” is really an adult’s reaction to the failed promises of youth, where we turn a point and realize we’ve lost our imagination and innocence. It’s an autobiographical expressive rant. Watching Roxy Music and Duran Duran videos, Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts on TV … this is the way I thought life would be when I was seven years old! Musically it’s quite circular and descending and I think this creates the nostalgic and familiar mood. Recurring mistakes, leading to positive realizations. It does reek of death and remorse a little bit; our declining society and over-saturated culture. The chorus is the consoling hug thrown in to help things a little.