Arctic Monkeys have offered details on their just-announced album The Car, including thoughts on the overall vibe, mix, inspiration, and even volume, with Alex Turner telling Big Issue that “it’s louder.”

This somewhat contradicts drummer Matt Helders, who teased in May that the band’s new album “kinda picks up where” 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino left off. “I mean, it’s never gonna be like ‘R U Mine?’ and all that stuff again, you know, the heavy riffs and stuff. But there are riffs in there and [it’s] a bit more up-tempo, even though it’s not loud.”

Turner doesn’t fully agree. “It’s a response I’ve had to other things we’ve composed,” he said. “This idea of something sounding ‘cinematic’. I never completely subscribe to it, but it’s louder this time.”


As for the lyrics, don’t expect the far-out explorations of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. “On this record [‘The Car’], sci-fi is off the table,” Turner revealed. “We are back to Earth.”

The Car was recorded with longtime producer James Ford at a converted Suffolk monastery called Butlery Priory. The choice to avoid a traditional studio was inspired by some of Turner’s favorite bands. “There’s a bunch of Led Zeppelin and Stones records where they were in this house in the country and then they went and sorted it all out and overdubbed it elsewhere,” he said. “We went there in the summer, took all the equipment, got the raw material and then took it on elsewhere.”

And how does he like the results? “I think we’ve got closer to a better version of a more dynamic overall sound with this record,” he explained. “The strings on this record come in and out of focus and that was a deliberate move and hopefully everything has its own space. There’s time the band comes to the front and then the strings come to the front.”


Arctic Monkeys have moved a long way from their muscular beginnings in the early aughts. But some things never change. “You have to follow your instincts in the same way you did in the first place,” Turner said. “In that way, it does all feel like it’s connected to us 20 years ago in the garage when it was pure instinct.”

The Car is due out October 21st, and pre-orders are ongoing. Arctic Monkeys previewed the album with lead single, “I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am”