Following on from ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect,’ The Last Shadow Puppets have released new track ‘Aviation’ from their forthcoming album which is their first in eight years. Unlike the hazy trippy psychedelia of ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’ (watch the video here), the new track is edgier and grittier, with a more ‘puppeter’ sound according to Miles. ‘Aviation’ is a proper rock’n’roll track, with a vigorous, dirty guitar riff and bass line throughout, slightly similar to the messy sex-infused ‘Bad Habits’. The band have always had innovative and exciting music videos, most notably ‘Standing Next to Me’ and ‘The Age of the Understatement’ and the video for ‘Aviation’ is no exception. The music video follows on from the ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’ video, with both shot on the same beach with Michelle Dawley cast in both. Whilst she is the elegant mysterious woman dancing around Alex and Miles who are both stuck in the sand in the first video, the sequel, so to speak, is more harrowing and distorted. She plays what seems to be jagged haunted bride, who’s watching Alex and Miles dig a grave which ends up to be their own. The video is aesthetically stunning, with a distorted edge to it; the 50s style criminal looking leader, the jagged bride in her white lace ensemble, and the orchestra with their eyes bound in white cotton just adds to the melancholy aura of the video. ‘Aviation’ opens with a messy orchestral ensemble, highly similar to the transition in ‘A Day In The Life.’ The track, which features the likes of Zach Dawes and Owen Pallett, is a heavy sensual pure rock track, with Alex and Miles’ vocals harmonising exquisitely as per usual. Given the last three singles, the album (due April 1st) is set to be one of this year’s best.
Watch the video below:
The Last Shadow Puppets invite you into their own fantasy, their twisted dark circus with new track ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect.’ The track sounds like it came right out of a mid 60s Beatles session, with softly trippy psychedelic inferences throughout. ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ is Beatlesy, with a soft sensual undertone. Alex and Miles harmonise exquisitely throughout, with a carnival fairground sound running through it, just like it came out of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ You can envisage the two playing ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite’ on a loop before producing such an endearing track. The lyrics are full of lust and wonder, like a hazy LSD trip, with a sense of melancholy in the line ‘I just can’t get the thought of you and him out of my head.’ The orchestra ensemble is stunning to listen to as well, with a twisted crazy bite to it, mirroring the hallucinogenic lyrics. The Beatles influences are also clear with lines like ‘goosebump soup and honey pie, piggy in the middle I’m the baddy’s daddy,’ apparent references to the tracks ‘Wild Honey Pie’ and ‘Piggies’ from the ‘White Album’.
You also get the Bowie mention that Alex recently discussed in an interview for NME magazine, in the line ‘croc-skin collar on a diamond dog’: a touching tribute to the late legend. ‘He’s sort of in the DNA of every record, to some extent. He’s been built-in for a long time.’
The lyrics are almost haunting as well, as if they were conjured up in a trippy dream: ‘as I walk through the chalet of the shadow of death’ and ‘the dance she does to shadowplay appeals to an ancient impulse’ are among the track’s most mystical lines. You can imagine Miles and Alex, who are class songwriters, playing Beatles records on repeat in hazy drunken hours, before discovering the magic medley they play throughout. The music video is like a twisted parallel version of reality: Alex and Miles both have their heads stuck in the pale golden sand on a beach, with the tide washing in on a loop. Aesthetically, the video is breathtaking, with shots of the foamy white sea and dazzling golden sunset against a soft blue sky. It also features elegant and mystical dancer Michelle Dawley. The track is almost hypnotic- I’ve had it on repeat since I first heard it- and balances the soft vocals with the orchestra and distorted guitar sound perfectly. To me, the track is different to the messy, dirty frustration in ‘Bad Habits,’ but just as good. The album (out on April 1st) is certainly set to be one of 2016’s finest.