There’s a red phone in the corner of the NME office that – a bit like The Batphone – only rings on very special occasions.
And ring it did, when our reporter at New Zealand’s Big Day Out festival first heard the Arctic Monkeys play new track ‘Crying Lightning‘ for the first time, way back in January.
Sadly, no one answered (all asleep – time difference, you see) so it’s up to me to tell you about the track, now that it’s online and available on iTunes as of this week.
Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Humbug’ (out August 24), it’s certainly not as dark or pounding as the rumour mill might have had us believe. It’s already being compared to some of the tracks on the flipside of the ‘Teddy Picker’ EP.
And with multiple references to sweets and confectionery treats, the ‘Crying Lightning’ lyrics certainly fit with the album title.
“Outside the cafe by the cracker factory, you were practicing a magic trick. And my thoughts got rude, as you talked and chewed on the last of your pick and mix”, sings Turner in a low, pensive voice, continuing “Said, ‘You’re mistaken if you’re thinking that I haven’t been caught cold before,’ as you bit into your strawberry lace. And then a flip in your attention, in the form of a gobstopper, is all you have left and it was going to waste.”
Parts of the track are ever-so slightly reminiscent of The Doors. The swirling rhythm, slide guitar, haunting wind sound and Alex Turner ominously singing ‘strange and deranged’ aren’t a million miles from Jim Morrison territory – not that the two songs/bands could ever be mistaken.
But the real winner is the chorus. The vocals soar and the track takes off with a surge of emotion, lifted further by the beautiful wailing of ‘Crying Lightning’ over and over.
What it all means, who knows. But it sure makes you want to hear the rest of the album right away.
Grab it from iTunes now, then let me know what you think below.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Crying Lightning’ single artwork: