The Last Shadow Puppets' Everything You've Come To Expect: What You Need To Know
It's been eight years since the debut album from The Last Shadow Puppets – the side project of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and singer-songwriter Miles Kane – but this Friday (April 1st) they return with its follow-up, Everything You've Come To Expect. So does it live up to its name? Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
Since the first album arrived in 2008, both men have been busy. Turner has released three full-length studio albums and a live album with Arctic Monkeys, who have in the process become one of the world's biggest bands, filling stadiums across the planet and becoming an ever-present fixture on the airwaves, whilst Kane has left former band The Rascals and branched out on his own, releasing two solo albums in 2011 and 2013.
With Turner now living in Los Angeles, Kane has been making regular extended trips to visit him before moving out there himself last year. The paid now live just a few minutes walk from each other, paving the way for them to rekindle their collaboration. The new album was announced in January this year, accompanied by the first single form the new album, 'Bad Habits'.
Who's producing it?
The band have retained James Ford, the man from Simian Mobile Disco who produced their first album and has worked on the last four Arctic Monkeys albums, as well as producing some pretty big records for the likes of Haim, Mumford & Sons and Florence & The Machine.
Any special guests?
Nope, it's pretty much just Kane and Turner. In fact the only guest appearance of any sort is from Tina Turner – that's her dancing on the album cover.
What does it sound like?
Describing their first album in a recent interview with Shortlist magazine, Kane stated that the pair “both had a hard-on for Scott Walker” while writing The Age of The Understatement and it's undeniable that the reclusive singer-songwriter was the biggest audible influence on their debut, packed as it was with big strings, soaring melodies and a dusty, retro-tinged production feel. That vintage vibe is still present on Everything You've Come To Expect, but here the range of influences at work feels much broader. The title track is probably one of the most unique tracks you'll hear this year – a haunting, ethereal number that has more in common with 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite' than anything else from that era, while 'Bad Habits' is a sleazy, reverb-laden groove propelled along by a pumping bassline, gliding strings and a big, latin-tinged brass section.
Other highlights include 'Miracle Aligner', which retains the soaring strings featured on much of the album, while the closest thing to the songs on their first album is probably 'Aviation', easily the most Scott Walker-esque tune on the new record.
Does it deliver?
If you were hoping for the second album to basically be like the first, only with more of everything, then you're in luck; that's pretty much what they've delivered here. It still sounds very much like The Last Shadow Puppets as opposed to any of their other ventures, and while there are a range of styles on display here, the record is held together by that distinctly retro vibe. And the strings, of course, which permeate the entire record much like they did the first. With both members being so busy with other things it's difficult to know if or when there will be another album under this name, so make the most of it while you can.