Eight years have passed since The Age Of The Understatement. We look at what the second album could possibly sound like.
Words: Alex Hurd, Subeditor: Karolina Zilenaite
Alex Turner and best mate Miles Cane caught the music world off guard with the release of their debut album as The Last Shadow Puppets eight years ago. The Age Of The Understatement was a massive success around the world going straight in at number 1 in the UK album charts and receiving a Mercury Prize nomination in the process. A short tour followed supporting the album, but the side project abruptly disbanded with no news on when the band would return, leaving fans begging for more, until now.
First whisperings that the duo would be doing a second album originated via a cryptic tweet from the strings composer Owen Pallett, who worked on the first album and has also worked with Arcade Fire. The tweet was quickly deleted, but it couldn’t stop the hype growing.
Drummer/producer James Ford finally confirmed the return of a second album through an interview with Chilean music website Rock and Pop saying, “I’ve just done a Last Shadow Puppets record, which is the guy from Arctic Monkeys and Miles [Kane]. We did the follow-up album to that, that’s the last thing I did.” Ford also added that the album “will be out next year sometime.”
So, as anticipation grows, what can we expect from the next record? The two northern lads wrote the first album eight years ago, just after Arctic Monkeys had finished their second album Favourite Worst Nightmare. Musically Alex Turner’s Arctic Monkeys had just followed up on their ground-breaking debut album with Favourite Worst Nightmare – a record that built on their trademark sound with more dark and heavy tones. Turner’s lyrics had begun to take a more twisted and abstract turn, and it was the last chapter in that part of the Arctic Monkey’s story, before they morphed into the more Californian rock sound heard on Humbug.
The point here is when they wrote The Age of the Understatement, they were in different places in their careers and their albums and influences back then ranged dramatically to what they are now when they wrote this second LSP album. The last offering from Turner was AM, a brilliant sleazy pop album that moved effortlessly between 90’s hip-hop influenced songs, Sabbath riffs, and slow epic ballads, making the four boys from Sheffield into worldwide megastars. Kane’s last album was the moderately received Don’t Forget Who You Are, that was a very middle of the road indie rock album, but his fame is at the highest it has ever been.
However, talented musicians they both are, this album will surely reflect their lives since that album eight years ago. The ever-growing fame, the gigs, the women, the drugs, but what makes this so interesting is how they will channel all this into a epic 60’s chamber-pop/classical style that they have made their own.
We already know from the (un)cryptic tweet by Owen Parlett (see above), the same powerful strings will be on the album there, but there is the possibility it could even push into the realm of full scale classical? Plus, the re-enlisting of James Ford will mean, that same powerful driving rhythm and retro production will still be there. It will be distinctively LSP, but we can’t but think there will be surprises. There always is, when Turner is involved. He has proven throughout his career that his sound always evolves on each album he writes.
It’s hard to imagine the present day Alex Turner, the arrogant rock star gyrating on stage in his tight leather and slick backed hair, alongside his best mate, Miles Kane, another rock star could be about to release one of the most innovative and successful classical albums in musical history. Get excited.