The Arctic Monkeys are a four-piece English band that formed in 2002. They are known for being one of the first bands to grow their fanbase via the Internet and social media without the input of a record label.
The group’s single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” from their 2006 debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, rocketed Arctic Monkeys to the tops of both the U.K. and U.S. rock album charts and set the group on the path to the throne left vacant by the United Kingdom’s Oasis.
The group has seen success in multiple genres but is classified under the genre of indie rock on Spotify and other music platforms. Arctic Monkeys music has found notoriety beyond the indie rock scene in the genres of indie pop, garage rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, space pop, glam rock, post-punk revival, and psychedelic pop.
Let’s travel along the path of Arctic Monkeys’ success across the multiple genres their music has spanned and the discography the group has gifted from its inception in 2005 until now.
Genres Where You Will Find Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys are widely regarded as part of the indie rock scene, alongside bands such as The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand. Arctic Monkeys’ lyrics usually feature social realism and reflections on working-class life.
Alex Turner, the lead singer, sings in a rich, heavy Yorkshire accent, which is characterized by the contraction of “something” to “summat” and the use of Northern British slang such as “mardy” for “cranky, complicated, unpredictable.” Their lyrics also contain frequent allusions to popular culture, both popular and obscure.
Here you will find a bit of insight into a few of the different music genres where Arctic Monkeys’ music can be found.
Indie rock is a music genre that emerged in the 1970s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The term was initially used to represent independent record labels but eventually became associated with the music they produced. It is known for a delicate balance of experimentation and unique musical approaches that may or may not be congruent with popular tastes.
Arctic Monkeys’ debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, is rife with punk rock influences, but the prominent sounds of the heavy bass and hard drums allow for a lift of narratives that beg for repeat listens.
Indie pop is a music genre and a subculture that merges indie rock and pop music. It reflects the underground music scene’s more sweet and soft side, emphasizing harmonies, arrangement, and lyrics. However, even though it is a slightly more popular and mainstream genre, indie pop artists tend to distance themselves from the stereotypical ideals of a mainstream pop star.
After the dark overtones of their 2008 album, Humbug, the band took a step in a different direction with their 2011 Suck It and See release. According to drummer Matt Helders, the group wanted to deliver a newer, poppy, vintage sound.
Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the late 1960s. The music was inspired mainly by “mind-altering” drugs or hallucinogens, such as LSD.
Arctic Monkeys utilized a broad range of instruments not previously used by the band, including shakers and xylophones, on their 2008 album, Humbug. The album’s overall tone was also much more relaxed and laid-back than their previous albums, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Who the F**k Are Arctic Monkeys, and Nightmare.
Blues rock is a fusion of blues and rock music. Blues rock is distinguished by bluesy improvisation, lengthy boogie jams typically focused on electric guitar solos, and a bulkier, riff-oriented sound.
The band’s 2016 album, AM, was recorded in a far different manner than 2011’s Suck It and See. According to interviews with lead singer Alex Turner, AM was intended as more of a “studio album” with an emphasis on groove setting the foundation for songs on the album.
Post-punk revival materialized in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Bands began integrating the sounds and aesthetics of the post-punk genre into indie rock. Influences range from traditional blues to garage grunge with back-to-basics, stripped-down guitar serving as a common foundation.
Arctic Monkeys’ 2007 album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, fit nicely into post-punk revival and was described as being more adventurous and heavier hitting than previously released albums.
Psychedelic pop combines elements of psychedelic folk, psychedelic rock, and pop. The sound produced is frequently intended to mimic how music might sound to someone under the influence of psychedelic drugs. It emphasizes catchy hooks and harmonies combined with trippy effects.
Lead singer Alex Turner experimented with different styles and instruments when creating Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino in 2018, which resulted in a new warm and subdued sound for the band.
The Arctic Monkeys have experimented with diverse genres and sub-genres and ultimately found success in the majority, if not all, of them. With their eclectic catalog and unique style, they’ve dominated the alternative and indie music landscape with their solid indie rock foundation.
Arctic Monkeys Discography
The band has released six studio albums, two video albums, three extended play albums, and twenty-three singles to date. However, it is rumored that a 2022 album is in the works.
Their studio albums include:
- Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not (2006)
- Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)
- Humbug (2009)
- Suck It and See (2011)
- AM (2013)
- Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2018)
Where Can I Find Music by Arctic Monkeys?
The fact that Arctic Monkeys have spanned so many different genres makes pinpointing an exact folder a little more complicated than with a mainstream group such as Twenty One Pilots.
You can find their music on several platforms, including the band’s website, www.arcticmonkeys.com, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, and Apple Music.
Arctic Monkeys found success in hard work, innovation, determination, and perseverance. Though the group has found influence from many genres and subgenres in the music world, they have steadfastly held to their roots in indie rock.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.