In August of 2014, I, as well as other fans of the English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, heard the news that lead guitarist Alex Turner closed the band’s last headlining show of the year with the words, “Seems like the perfect place to leave things for a while.”
Since then, the band has left me and other dedicated fans guessing about what’s next, as the members took a long hiatus to work on other side projects. Yet, three weeks ago, the long, harsh silence was finally broken.
On Jan. 11 of this year, the Delaware music festival, Firefly, announced their 2018 lineup, presenting Arctic Monkeys as one of four headliners. The social media post holds more than ten thousand retweets on Twitter and had fans scrambling to look for more on upcoming tour dates or teasers of the new album.
No posts were made from the band’s official Instagram or Twitter pages until three days later, when a video was posted of upcoming tour dates for the rest of 2018. Unfortunately, the tour only includes European dates, so far, yet just hearing news from the band makes the four years of silence extremely worth it.
News of the upcoming album to follow 2013’s “AM” was also spilled in an interview to motorcycle magazine The Ride. Bassist Nick O’Malley confirmed that the album should be out this year and, “if it isn’t, we’ve got problems.”
Questions arose about where and when this album was recorded, since no photos had been shared of the band being together since one was leaked on Twitter in December 2016. The crew was spotted in a bar by a fan in the band’s hometown of Sheffield.
Arctic Monkeys have always been one to lay low on their own social media profile, though. In 2003, when they were first playing shows, the band was asked about its first MySpace page in an interview with Prefix Magazine.
Turner stated that they were unaware of the page’s existence and that the popularity they were getting online was all due to the fans who created it.
Since then, BBC Radio has claimed them as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet, even though the band told BBC that the best way of gaining popularity and distribution is to simply keep releasing music.
Arctic Monkeys made history as the first independent label band with five consecutive number-one albums in the UK. Their fifth album, “AM,” swept the UK boards, Alex Turner claiming it as the band’s “most original album, yet.”
Thoughts on what the sixth album will sound like have been going around, people taking from what the members have been working on individually and building a claim from there. From what I’ve heard, I’d guess the new record won’t hold as much of Alex Turner spitting out lyrics as fast as he can, much like their first two albums.
His style has seemingly slowed down a bit, as is present in what he put out in his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets. O’Malley, though, has been heard getting heavier, recently, as well as drummer Matt Helders, who can be heard on Iggy Pop’s latest releases.
Yet, no matter what happens, the collaboration between these talented musicians is what makes the Arctic Monkeys the timeless band they are today, predicted to come back even bigger than they were four years ago.
Rachel Blumberg can be contacted at email@example.com