Alex Turner - Submarine (Domino)

Alex Turner’s debut in to the muddy waters of the solo career bears all the trademarks of his slurred lyrical delivery and half-crooner vocals.

Released Mar 28th, 2011 via Domino / By Clementine Lloyd
Alex Turner - Submarine (Domino) With little else to tie in with his work with Arctic Monkeys, it is refreshing in fact to hear a new range of tunes which bear those unmistakable Turner-style lyrics. Those that mark the movement of the minds eye in a flurry of surreal metaphor that would make Salvador Dali blush. With elements of Badly Drawn Boy, which figures given the filmic quality, the brightness mixes with a slight sense of grief, forming a slight lament.

As a soundtrack to the coming of age flick ‘Submarine’, the 6 track EP bares a witty, youthful and elegant take on that transitional growth of body and mind. It is pretty, it echoes in acoustically bound reverie, and wishes for far more than can ever hope to be achieved when youth is on your side. ‘Hiding Tonight’ focuses on the plans for tomorrow, made when today seems futile. The representation of everything you could be is vocalised through Turner’s humbled reticence, a timbre tuned into the understated minimal chords. ‘Glass In The Park’ utilizes this minimalism as a backdrop for sexual tension, displaying those urges across open spaces, “Oh tell me how can I put you off when you’re a matter of urgency?”

Acoustically lilting charm is a staple to the record, ‘It’s Hard To Get Around The Wind’ in all its somber glory maps the difficulties faced when there are things you cannot change. Slowly lilting, rising and falling like the breeze, whilst Turner croons “It’s like you were trying to get to heaven in a hurry, but the queue was shorter than you thought it would be, and the doorman says, you need to get a wristband.” A fair crack at that feeling that everything in life, and death, is exclusory. Ah, the joys of being angsty!

‘Stuck On A Puzzle’, with its intro included as the EP opener, represents both sides of the coin, Acoustics peppering the opener, before becoming synth-heavy for the main event, utlising for the first time the snare and kick drum, a welcome arrival! Though not necessarily kicking the pace up a notch, its livelier, with a punchier rhythmic backdrop, propped up by ender ‘Piledriver Waltz’, though perhaps inviting more despair into its lyrics than previous tracks. It certainly harbours elements of the Waltz, as the chorus drops and you can sense the spinning couples in your mind's eye. The record as a whole captures both melancholy and elation in a sense, perfect for its soundtrack capabilities, and with a healthy dose of the twisted lyricism and mockery Turner is so good at.