Arctic Monkeys are back. It’s official.
There were rumblings of a new album being recorded in 2017 with pictures of the band in Sheffield but now it’s official. Arctic Monkeys are officially back.
On 11 May Arctic Monkeys will be back with their sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. It’s been five years since my Arctic Monkeys hype machine has been revved up but my propeller is definitely turning for this album. Judging by the colourful track names (‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip’) the band are embracing their reputation the surreal imagery that was key on The Last Shadow Puppets’ Everything You’ve Come to Expect.
Fatherhood, relocation, and maturation have changed Arctic Monkeys’ over the last five years but it will be interesting to see whether they are able to win back the fans disillusioned by the Americanness (it’s a word now) of AM and entertain their wider international fanbase.
Arctic Monkeys are the Doctor Who of British music, regenerating and reinventing themselves with every release and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this time.
Now I’m a working man, I have really been getting into some chilled lo-fi beats. It’s the perfect music to have in the background whilst your working or at home when you’re relaxing. There are about a million playlists on YouTube pumping out these kinds of beats 24/7, my favourite is Chilled Cow. But if you want to just want to dip your toe in the genre check out ‘feathers’ by BLVK. it’s a great taste of the jazz piano and hip-hop beats which have made hip-hop so popular.
‘Sunshine Smile’ was released at the wrong time of the year. Ideally, I’d be on a beach listening to this track but I’m not, it’s Sunday and the impending thought of the work week ahead means that Karl’s lazily droned ‘everything is gonna be alright’ doesn’t quite ring true in my ears. The hazy guitars and the vocals will force you to relax in the most laid back way possible.
This track is the opener for Shilpa Ray’s new album Door Girl. ‘New York Minute Prayer’ evokes the same charm of Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’. That’s the biggest compliment I could give an NYC themed track. The lilting keys of ‘New York Minute Prayer’ give the track a dreamy tone and Ray’s rich, jazzy voice portrays the wonder of a big city and the youthful enthusiasm of the singer. Sinatra sings ‘I’m leaving today’ but Shilpa is already there ‘I’m here, I’m here’ Door Girl is here, be sure to check it out.
The Avalanches stormed back onto the scene last year with Wildflower, their first effort in sixteen years. ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ is one of the standout tracks on the Avalanches’ 1999 debut release Since I Left You. Wayne and Shuster’s 1959 comedy ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ is transformed by the haunting choral chants of the Enoch Light Singers which ironically give the song a contemporary feel. This track is made of layers upon layers of samples which are all interwoven to create a track which you can’t help but get lost in.
The intro to this song reminds me of one of my many failed attempts to pluck out a song. Fortunately, Peter Bibby is a lot more successful at producing a great finished product. The plucky intro builds into a thick rocky riff. On top of this Bibby bemoans his medical ailments. However, the track builds up to a cheery chorus about going to hospital begging for prescription drugs. A cheery ode to abusing the NHS (I know he’s Australian, give me a break).
It’s the end of the night – or maybe the beginning of the morning and for some reason you’re still awake. Everyone around you has passed out, but you’re there lying on the floor, head propped up against the sofa, the speakers out of reach. This is when Justin Ramsey’s ‘Circus’ will appear in your life, the beat feels familiar but just when you think the track is about to drop it builds you up even further and when the spacey synths kick in it’ll have you fumbling for Shazam.