It seems like a meeting between Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, two veterans of hip Scottish music circles was destined, like two cogs in the same clock travelling in opposite directions. Eclectic jazz musician Wells’ has dabbled in enough different genres to make this collaboration with Moffat (formerly one half of the much-loved Arab Strap) work, with spectacular, glimmering results.

Those familiar with Arab Strap will not be disappointed. Moffat’s voice has a quality that is gripping in its ability to discomfort the listener, it’s the aural equivalent of being dragged through gravel while tied to the back of speeding car. This is offset by Wells’ rich and varied arrangements, which perfectly compliment Moffat’s bleak tales of disappointment, unfulfilled ambitions, missed opportunities, infidelity, dishonesty and crumbling relationships. The sort of typically cheery fare that fans will be familiar with.

If that sounds somewhat similar to Arab Strap. It’s not. Thanks to Wells’ coruscating backing. At times, the piano-driven jazz resembles mid-fifties Blue Note recordings, reminiscent of Bill Evans, like on ‘The Copper Top’ and on opener ‘Tasogare’ (which incidentally also unintentionally? harks back to The Smashing Pumpkins’ title track from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness). But there’s also ‘Glasgow Jubilee’ a wah-wah soaked piece of jazz-funk that sounds like a group of musicians who can’t quite bring themselves to play ‘On The Corner’ coupled with Moffat’s recounting of the tawdry lives of several promiscuous persons around the Glasgow area.

As the title heavily implies, age is a running theme throughout the album. It is no surprise that a supremely talented lyricist such as Moffat can effortlessly stab at the heart of the matter. There’s little time for tales of happy families, not when gut-wrenching disappointments and hopelessly missed potential can be offered instead. The realism of songs like ‘Let’s Stop Here’ and ‘The Copper Top’ is devastating in its detailing of ordinary situations. There’s a convincing conveyance of genuine sadness and regret, but those familiar with his work will expect nothing less.

Throughout the lyrics delight in the morally questionable underbelly of human behaviour and are charged with a gritty authenticity. Like most of his back catalogue, this is an album that will embolden misanthropists everywhere and should be kept away from anyone having a George Bailey-style crisis of faith in humanity. Everything’s Getting Older, unlike the characters it features, benefits from a healthy relationship between both parties and even if it constantly reminds us that we’re going to get old and die, at least there’s good music like this to help pass the time.

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