Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
In 2016, Alex Turner received a piano for his 30th birthday and started playing seriously for the first time in over 20 years. Songs for Arctic Monkeys’ sixth album eventually emerged—a collection of brooding, cosmic lounge-pop that’s typical of the band only in its disdain for playing it safe. Here, light-years from their previous riff-driven adventures, melodies unspool slowly but stick faster with every listen. A watering hole on the moon provides the conceptual framework for Turner to muse on life, pop culture, and technology with heavy-lidded introspection. “I need to spend less time stood around in bars/Waffling on to strangers about martial arts,” he sighs on “She Looks Like Fun.” He shouldn’t be hasty: Wherever he finds inspiration, it takes his band to daring new places.