After Arctic Monkeys’ headline sets at Reading & Leeds Festivals in August 2014, Alex Turner said it “seems like the perfect place to leave things for a while.” Sounds like he’s a man of his word. Over three years later, we’re still waiting for a new album. But when can we realistically expect the followup to ‘AM’, the biggest-selling vinyl of the decade so far – and what will it sound like? They’ve started to announce 2018 tour dates, so more news must be coming soon. Here’s what’s been said so far.
When can we expect Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album?
Currently the album is rumoured to be released later on this year. Speaking to motorcycle magazine, The Ride, bassist Nick O’Malley said that the album should be out next year and that “if it isn’t, we’ve got problems”. With several festival dates now announced, fans are expecting new music to be out by Summer.
What will Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album sound like?
Fans who still hold the band’s first two albums close to their hearts are unlikely to hear Alex spouting lyrics as fast as he used to – his style has developed from a snappy yap into more of a smooth croon in recent years. But Nick O’Malley’s bass riffs have been getting heavier recently, and more of that could be on the cards. There could possibly be an injection of psych too: Helders and Turner covered Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ a couple of years ago and the influence of Kevin Parker on Arctic Monkeys might make for an interesting bit of cross-pollination.
Who will feature on it?
Longtime collaborator and producer Josh Homme will probably have a hand in at least one of the songs – since ‘Humbug’ he’s been involved with every album. Then there’s Alexandra Savior, Alex Turner’s newest songwriting partner, who could come on board to add some vocals
Then there’s the possibility Iggy Pop might be convinced to join them for something in the future – and even Andy Nicholson, the former Arctic Monkeys bassist who last July said the door to his Sheffield studio is “always open” if the band want to come and make music there.
Rumours of a producer have circulated for over the last few months, with many, including fan-account Arctic Monkeys US suggesting that the band are once again working with James Ford – who has produced all of the bands albums expect ‘Humbug’, which was co-produced with Homme and their debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’.
What will the music be about?
It’s difficult to say at this point. The last album was about lust, sex, isolation and getting high, so possibly more of that. Here’s one random clue though: Turner’s iPhone notes, which he read out on Josh Homme’s Apple Music radio show ‘The Alligator Hour’ in July 2015. Turner’s included song titles called “It’s my headache”, “Put glass in front of everything”, and “John Lennon as a TV chef”. Classic Turner.
The 1975’s second album cycle came to an end last summer as they headlined Latitude Festival, wrapping up nearly 2 years of touring and promo. So, what’s next for Matt Healy and the boys? And when might we get to hear some new music? Here’s all the information I know so far…
When can we expect The 1975’s third album and what will it be called?
As the ‘I Like It When You Sleep’… era officially came to an end, Matty hinted at the future during the band’s final tour date, headlining the main stage on Friday night of Latitude Festival:
“We had an album called I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. That album became an era and tonight is the end of that era. But it’s the start of a new era… called Music for Cars.”
According to a tweet on Christmas Eve, The 1975’s new album will arrive on June 1st, 2018. Matty also spoke to Dork Magazine in December about scheduling and the exact timing of new tunes:
“We’ve met so many artists, who we’re not necessarily going to be working with, but it’s been a very inspiring time for us. I just know we’ll definitely put out a single next year, or an EP which will lead up to the album, which I reckon will come out early summer 2018.”
What will the third album sound like?
The 1975 were the subject of a 10 page feature in the May edition of Q magazine, the chat confirming that the majority of the songs will be recorded in Matty’s home studio, and he has already written two songs that are “as good as anything” on their last record, alongside some classical and ambient tracks.
Other than that, who knows? Look at the huge breadth of styles they’ve hit already – who knows where they might go next. Best to just keep an eye on studio videos like the one that revealed ‘By Your Side’ last November for any indication of what they are cooking up in the studio.
Who will feature on it?
Healy has been teasing a collaboration with UK grime artist Skepta for a long time now, having become friends in real life. They’ve apparently been hanging in the studio and even completed an early demo of a potential full track together.
Matty spilled on the style of their aimed track at the NME awards last year: “We’re going to do a tune together. We want to do like a ‘West End Girls’’ Pet Shop Boys [kind of thing]. Maybe start a band, just me and Skepta do a band. Well we’re talking about it, so let’s see what happens.”
What will the music be about?
In an interview with Q Magazine last May, Matty confirmed that, in terms of subject matter, the band will veer into more “socially informed and kind-of politically motivated pop music”. He was one of the few pop stars who actually spoke out around Trump’s election and the Brexit vote, making his position perfectly clear with regular speeches to the audience at shows, encouraging them to be more proactive.
Matty Healy also chatted to the NME last year as part of a cover story alongside Heather Baron-Gracie of Pale Waves, where he revealed it will be the third part of a trilogy linking all the albums together, revealing a full story of one person, saying: “It’s always kind of been my story. It spanned adolescence to maturity, success and trying to mediate the two, and the third one is where we are now”.