Arctic Monkeys have released “Brick by Brick” as a taster from their upcoming album. Meanwhile, Alex Turner has an EP soundtrack to Submarine due for release.
It’s been a while since we heard from Arctic Monkeys. After the release of 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not frontman Alex Turner expressed his confidence that they’d be able to churn out an album a year, but it hasn’t quite worked out like that, and it’s already been 18 months since third album Humbug was release, to a relatively muted reception.
Arctic Monkey’s New Song: Brick By Brick
Now they’ve gotten round to releasing a new song through the band’s official website and YouTube channel: Brick By Brick appeared without preamble on March 4, 2011, video and all, though it’s not slated as a single. It will appear on their forthcoming album, whose release date still hasn’t been announced.
Musically, this is a surprising departure, even for a band given to surprising departures. When the vocals kick in, you’ll think there’s been a mistake, but no, this is Arctic Monkeys, and the voice you’re hearing is that of drummer Matt Helders, taking lead on the verse, before the familiar strains of Alex Turner take over on the chorus. Check out the guitar soloing, too, for another departure from Arctic Monkeys conventions.
Lyrically, this song is not particularly inspired: “I want to steal your soul… Brick by brick, I want to rock and roll… Brick by brick,” and so forth. In fact, so insubstantial are the lyrics, that one might be tempted to suspect Alex Turner hadn’t written them; neither website nor YouTube channel give details of composition, but perhaps Helders’s vocal prominence is due to his compositional input.
Meanwhile, the band have announced some festival appearancese for 2011, including Fuji Rock in Japan in July, and the V Festival and T in the Park in England. Full details are on news page of their official website.
Alex Turner’s Submarine EP
Turner’s been busy, though, because March 15 is to see the release of an EP of his songs as soundtrack to the film Submarine. Snippets are available through Amazon’s Submarine EP page. Again, these tracks mark a departure from Turner’s Arctic Monkey’s work. Most of the songs are acoustic-guitar driven, extremely mellow in mood, and not, on first lesson, very sharply distinguished from the crowded field of guitar-toting indie troubadours.
The film Submarine is directed by Richard Ayoade, who also directed the Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo live DVD, and who is best known for his role as Moss in The IT Crowd. It has garnered good feedback at several film festivals, and initial reviews have been broadly positive. It is scheduled to be released in the UK on 18 March.