By Luis Castilla
Arctic Monkeys are still looking down on us from their hotel on the moon in their new single, “Anyways.”
This two-track single includes the title track from their sixth album, released earlier this year, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” and the B-side, “Anyways.”
“Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” is one of Arctic Monkeys’ most divisive records. This was a concept album about colonizing, gentrifying and opening a hotel on the moon.
It was an extreme deviation from the Arctic Monkeys’ previous albums. Long-time fans will know that the band changes their sound and style with every album.
This was a huge leap from the rock ‘n’ roll sound they had kept consistent. Instead, this album is filled with social commentary disguised as piano ballads about space.
The first track, “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” is a tour of the titular hotel. It’s described with metaphors about consumerism and politics.
Fans have already had a chance to listen to track, but the instrumentation covers every spacey corner of the band’s sixth album.
“Anyways” is the B-side of the single and is every bit as loungey and smooth as the album. However, it is stripped back and trades grandeur for softer, more intimate instrumentation.
A hotel on the moon positions the Arctic Monkeys in the perfect vantage point to critique society from above.
In this track, Alex Turner croons about how people make small-talk to get to the end of conversations. He references everything from social media, to Brexit, to climate change.
The track feels like the after-after-party of “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.” The cover of the single has Turner vacuuming the carpet of the hotel. This is a fitting image, considering the single was released after the album; usually, singles are released before albums.
The track ends with footsteps walking away from the listener, as both the music and the space party are over.
For long-time Arctic Monkeys fans, “Anyways” may feel like the final nail in the coffin for the band’s older style.
Their music is not what it used to be, but that’s not a bad thing.
The lyrics, “You can call me Alexander, it’s nice to meet you,” in “Anyways,” also allude to the maturity of Turner, the band and their music.
Rather than continuing to make the same music that earned them their fame, the Arctic Monkeys have set themselves apart from everyone else in their genre.