Arctic Monkeys are back, bringing soul to indie music 

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Photo courtesy of Genius

The Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album, “The Car,” on Friday.

By Lucy Bridges, Staff Writer

The indie band Arctic Monkeys released a funky new album titled, “The Car,” on Friday. Consisting of 10 songs, the band’s seventh studio album is short in comparison to others of its kind, but each track is packed full of unique lyrics and unparalleled instrumentation, allowing for “The Car” to truly stand out to indie music fans. 

The Arctic Monkeys have been singing, writing and performing together since 2005. The band’s dynamic meshes well together, allowing them to continue creating meaningful and popular music for fans. The band consists of lead singer Alex Turner, lead guitarist Jamie Cook, drummer Matt Helder and bassist Nick O’Malley. 

Other than the release of their live concert album “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” in 2020, “The Car” is the Arctic Monkeys’ first studio album since 2018, when they released “Tranquility Based Hotel & Casino.” Despite having taken a four year hiatus from releasing music, the band still accumulates 36.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Easing fans back into their music, the Arctic Monkeys released the single “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” in August, creating anticipation for the impending album release. 

“The Car” inhabits a jazzy vibe that carries soul through the tracks. Turner’s voice imitates an old school-esque sound that adds a retro element to the album. Making the tracks on this album more unique, Turner brings a soft and calm vocal dynamic, avoiding overpowering the song with unnecessary intensity. 

The song that is the namesake of the album, “The Car,” is unique in the sense that the lyrics make up the timeline of a story. Alex Turner poses as the storyteller for this track in particular. Turner sings in an almost narrative style, soft but direct, adding phrases together, such as, “But it ain’t a holiday until / you go to fetch something in my car / a travel size champagne cork pops,” in order to create a specific memory. 

The single, “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am,” released on October 19, has generated traction among indie fans. Turner carries his soulful vocals into this single, but adds a tinge of 70s retro twang to his voice. “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am” is one of the more energetic songs on the album and Turner pushes more power from his diaphragm, generating a forceful high vocal range sound. The lyrics of the single match precisely with the title and persona of the song as Turner sings, “The disco strobes in the stumbling blocks” and “Formation displays of affection fly over / Eyes roll back.” There is a purposeful sense of confusion that is portrayed through the single, adding to the cool, relaxed and muted tone of the song. 

Although the lyrics are interesting and unique, the instrumentation on each track sets the album apart from other indie albums. The soft beat that Helder carries on the drums throughout each track amplifies the jazz subtleties, which add up to create a soothing portfolio of rich blues-like music. 

As the album hops from track to track, the instrumentation style changes with each song, pushing soulful jazz in one and groovy guitar humming in another. Although the style changes throughout the album, there are consistent elements of soothing guitar and steady drum rhythm that create cohesiveness throughout the music. 

The Arctic Monkeys have stepped back into their comfort music style after waiting to release the new album. Indie fans will be able to listen to “The Car,” which is full of lazy day, calming and funky music, that reincorporates The Arctic Monkeys into their playlists. 

 

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