New music and UK tour dates are expected soon...
After Arctic Monkeys’ headline sets at Reading & Leeds Festivals in August 2014, Alex Turner said it “seems like the perfect place to leave things for a while.” Sounds like he was telling the truth: over three years later, we’re still bereft of new music from the band. But when can we realistically expect the followup to ‘AM’, the biggest-selling vinyl of the decade so far – and what will it sound like? Here’s everything we know so far…
The latest news:
- The band have announced the title, tracklist, artwork and release date along with a teaser trailer
- They’ve finally announced a UK arena tour
- It also looks like the album could feature some very special guests…
We have an album name
Produced once again by James Ford, Arctic Monkeys have announced that their sixth album will be called Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. We also have a tracklist – here it is:
1) ‘Star Treatment’
2) ‘One Point Perspective’
3) ‘American Sports’
4) ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’
5) ‘Golden Trunks’
6) ‘Four Out of Five’
7) ‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip’
8) ‘Science Fiction’
9) ‘She Looks Like Fun’
11) ‘The Ultracheese’
In addition to this, the band has released a sleek teaser trailer. It’s a collection of retro, Tomorrow’s World-style images, followed by a crunching guitar riff. We’re on!
There’s a release date too
The next album is coming on May 11.
Here’s the artwork
We’ve got a glimpse of some tasty, tasty vinyl.
Are Arctic Monkeys touring?
Yep! Check out all of the band’s upcoming shows below – now with a string of UK arena dates that go on sale from 9am on Friday April 13. Tickets will be available here. *
The Observatory North Park, San Diego (May 2, 3)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles (May 5)
Brooklyn Steel, New York (May 9)
Columbia Halle, Berlin (May 22)
Columbia Halle, Berlin (May 23)
Cavea, Rome (May 26)
Cavea, Rome (May 27)
Zentih, Paris (May 29)
Zenith, Paris (May 30)
Primavera Sound, Spain (June 2)
Medidlanum Forum, Milan (June 4)
Best Kept Secret, Netherlands (June 8)
Firefly Festival, Delaware, US (June 14-17)
Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh NC (June 16)
Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville, TV (June 18)
Coca Cola Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, GA (June 19)
Southside Festival, Germany (June 22-24)
Hurricane Festival, Germany (June 22-24)
Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Dusseldorf (June 26)
Royal Arena, Copenhagen (June 27)
TRSNMT, Scotland (July 1)
Open’er, Poland (July 4)
Rockwave Festival, Greece (July 6)
Rock Werchter, Belgium (July 8)
NOS Alive, Portugal (July 12)
Madcool Festival, Spain (July 13)
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY (July 24)
TD Garden, Boston, MA (July 27)
The Anthem, Washington DC (July 28)
Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA (July 31)
Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, MI (August 1)
Osheaga Festival, Montréal, QB (August 4)
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON (August 5)
OYA Festival, Norway (August 8)
Way Out Festival, Sweden (August 9-11)
Flow Festival, Finland (August 11)
Sziget Festival, Hungary (August 14)
Manchester Arena (September 6/7)
The O2 Arena, London (September 9/10/12/13)
Birmingham Arena (September 15/16)
FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield (September 18/19/21)
3Arena, Dublin (September 24/25)
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle (September 27/28)
More 2018 world tour dates are expected to be announced shortly.
Who will feature on it?
According to a listing from a German music retailer, the album features the band’s live keyboardist Tom Rowley, drummer Loren Humphries, as well as James Righton of Klaxons/Shock Machine, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford from Mini Mansions and Tame Impala bassist Cam Avery.
Longtime collaborator and producer Josh Homme will probably have a hand in at least one of the songs – since ‘Humbug’ he’s been involved with every album. Then there’s Alexandra Savior, Alex Turner’s newest songwriting partner, who could come on board to add some vocals. It’d be a surprise to see Miles Kane there – earlier this year he explained he “had a hard-on” to be a frontman and that was why he’d never joined the band, despite being such good friends with Alex.
Then there’s the possibility Iggy might be convinced to join them for something in the future – and even Andy Nicholson, the former Arctic Monkeys bassist who last July said the door to his Sheffield studio is “always open” if the band want to come and make music there.
What will the music be about?
Album opener ‘Star Treatment’ appears to be about Turner’s own experiences of fame. The album bio notes the opening lyrics as being “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes/Now look at the mess you made me make/Hitchhiking with a monogrammed suitcase, miles away from any half-useful imaginary highway.”
‘Four Out Of Five’ is “set at a well-reviewed taqueria” on the roof of the titular Tranquility Base venue, while ‘Golden Trunks’ “imagines a President as an ’80s WWF wrestler in love with the sound of his own theme song”. ‘American Sports’ meanwhile, is said to feature the lyrics “My virtual reality mask is stuck on ‘Parliament Brawl’/Emergency battery pack just in time for my weekly chat with God on videocall” and the line “And all of my most muscular regrets explode behind my eyes like American sports.”
Check back at NME for the latest Arctic Monkeys new album news and tour dates.
What will Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album sound like?
The album bio for the ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ has emerged on a ticketing website. In it, Turner reveals the album features lots of piano after he was gifted a Steinway Vertegrand for his 30th birthday. The frontman is quoted as saying: “It’s got more chords. And space shit.”
Giving details about individual songs, the piece calls ‘Star Treatment’ “an elegantly seductive musical monologue”, while the title track features an “absurdly slinky bass countermelody” and “seductive falsetto”.
It seems like Turner has been getting things out of his system via the Scott Walker-y stuff he’s been performing as one half of The Last Shadow Puppets. On the other hand, Matt Helders’ latest work as part of ‘Post Pop Depression’ seems like it will have given him a new perspective. He’s been recording and touring with QOTSA’s Josh Homme and Dean Fertita – and, of course, the legendary Iggy Pop. On that record his drums sound as swaggering and slick as anything he’s done with Arctic Monkeys – hopefully he’ll bring some of that vibe to the next album.
Fans who still hold the band’s first two albums close to their hearts are unlikely to hear Alex spouting lyrics as fast as he used to – his style has developed from a snappy yap into more of a smooth croon in recent years. But Nick O’Malley’s bass riffs have been getting heavier recently, and more of that could be on the cards. There could possibly be an injection of psych too: Helders and Turner covered Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ a couple of years ago and the influence of Kevin Parker on Arctic Monkeys might make for an interesting bit of cross-pollination.
An April 2018 review of the record in Uncut Magazine revealed some more specifics. Revealing that the album is “no kind of a guitar album”, midway track ‘Four Out Of Five’ is dubbed “a Bowie-ish glam song”, while ‘One Point Perspective’ is reportedly “musically a super-simple hip-hop beat”.
And as for those lyrics? They may not be delivered at machine-gun pace anymore, but Turner’s still on top form – that same Uncut review reveals that the record opens with the line “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes.” Briliant.
Are there any unreleased Arctic Monkeys songs that could be on it?
There are several unreleased songs we know about, which were previously called ‘Sandtrap’ and ‘Put Me In A Terror Pocket’, but they’re probably both a bit long in the tooth to make it onto a new album. Maybe they’ve been given new names and reworked?
The only thing that we’ve heard before that could be new material is this clip of what sounds like new stuff from a 2014 soundcheck in Bremen, Germany – but it’s annoyingly short.