What?: Channeling their mutual admiration for studio savant and lush orchestral pioneer Scott Walker, the two Brit sensations of the Last Shadow Puppets -- Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and the Rascals' Miles Kane -- hit France's Black Box studio last year with Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford on production and drum duties. Owen Pallett, a.k.a. Final Fantasy (Arcade Fire, Hidden Cameras), later arranged strings, as played by the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra. The product final: The Age of the Understatement (out tomorrow via Domino), a collection of glossy Britpop and Bond song-like forward-movement and drama -- a decided departure for the two ragamuffin rockers.
Who? Longtime buddies and onetime touring mates Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and the Rascals' Miles Kane comprise the creative heart of the Last Shadow Puppets. As mentioned, James Ford, the knob-twiddler behind the Monkeys' acclaimed sophomore set Favourite Worst Nightmare, and string savant Owen Pallett helped the duo achieve the sonic wizardry of their debut.
Fun Fact: The Last Shadow Puppets' birth can be traced back to the Arctic Monkeys' sophomore set Favourite Worst Nightmare, which features guitar work from Kane. Soon after, Turner and Kane were trading songs, and penning the original framework for their debut -- a collaboration that was natural, says Kane. "The fact that we were writing together seems to make it stronger...it was just dead easy."
Now Watch This: "The Age of the Understatement" (acoustic)