Man, it feels like the Arctic Monkeys have been gone forever - it’s been more than four years since they released the brilliant AM (which is on a par with Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not as their best album - truth), and you know what, I really bloody miss them.
Alex Turner and co. are one of the best British bands - actually, bands full stop - of the millennium, and it’s about time they treated us to a bit of new material.
Their sixth studio release has been in the pipeline for a while, with rumblings and rumours swirling around the music world about when it might be released, but it’s now been confirmed that the band started recording this month, and that, barring some kind of disaster, we can expect to hear it in 2018.
Bassist Nick O’Malley went out on a track day for motorcycle mag For the Ride, and told them that if the album doesn’t come out next year, “We’ve got problems”.
The band have been teasing fans about new material all year. Back in April Daniele Cavalli - son of Roberto - posted a picture of Alex Turner getting busy on a piano.
And in May drummer Matt Helders posted a simple picture of his drum kit, in what appears to be the very same room in Los Angeles (look at the dividers).
Helders had previously told a fan that there was a chance of new music coming out this year, and while that now seems unlikely for the album itself, we might get a single if we’re lucky. Let’s hold onto that hope.
Frontman Alex Turner has been on a break from the Monkeys over the past few years, instead working with his supergroup The Last Shadowpuppets with Miles Kane, James Ford, and Zach Dawes.
But he’s also been busy doing something else - and this is the biggest news here - growing a beard.
Honestly Alex, you’re a very handsome man, but I’m not sure this look is quite working for you.
Anyway, because I enjoy being shouted at by strangers on the internet, here are the five best Arctic Monkeys songs, definitively chosen by me:
1. ‘The View from the Afternoon’ - Whatever People Say I Am…
2. ‘Arabella’ - AM
3. ‘A Certain Romance’ - Whatever People Say I Am…
4. ‘Do I Wanna Know’ - AM
5. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ - Favourite Worst Nightmare