By Eric Gasa
British band Arctic Monkeys are set to release the highly anticipated follow up to their 2013 record AM, sometime early next year. The news comes fresh from bassist Nick O’Malley who confirmed that the band had started recording last month. Rumors were also speculated after photos of the group in the studio surfaced earlier this year, followed by unconfirmed international tour dates.
O’Malley spoke with motorcycle magazine For The Ride, stating that the band had started recording at a secret location in September. Other than frontman Alex Turner growing a beard, the band has remained quiet in the news cycle, even going on hiatus after the major success of their last tour.
Arctic Monkeys first made their mark on the garage rock scene back in 2006 with their debut, Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, which blended witty, Morrissey-style musings with jagged guitar riffs and bludgeoning drumfills. The Monkeys were the British response to America’s wave of 2000’s rock revival outfits such as The Kills, The Killers, The White Stripes, and The Black Keys. Though many of these American bands have either disbanded or stayed with the signature sound, the Sheffield band opted to switch up their style in 2013 with their highly succeesful fifth record, AM.
Songs like “Do I Wanna Know” shifted the band from their punk stylings to a modern, chrome-encrusted romantic sound that agreed with old fans and gained countless new ones. AM not only conquered charts, going platinum in the U.S. and triple platinum in the U.K., but was also nominated for a Mercury Prize and Best Rock Performance for “Do I Wanna Know” at the 2013 Grammys.
In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Turner described the album as, “almost like the Spiders From Mars covering Aaliyah. There’s like a shimmery, intergalactic, slightly cosmic element to the way both those genres make me feel.”
In 2017, the verdict is still out on the creative direction of this new record. As O’Malley said in a recent interview, “The new album will be out next year because if it isn’t we’ve got problems.” Regardless of style rock fans everywhere will be eagerly waiting.