The band recorded a total of 24 songs; 12 in the Rancho De La Luna recording sessions with Josh Homme and 12 in the New York sessions with James Ford. It was later revealed by Matt Helders in a video diary that the album would consist of 14 tracks and that Alex Turner would stay in New York to oversee the mixing of the material.However, the claim that there were 14 tracks was proved wrong, as the tracklisting, revealed on 1 June 2009, listed only 10.
In a preview article on ClashMusic.com, writer Simon Harper claimed that the band had “completely defied any expectations or presumptions to explore the depths they can reach when stepping foot outside their accepted styles”, and that “Turner is his usual eloquent self, but has definitely graduated into an incomparable writer whose themes twist and turn through stories and allegories so potent and profound it actually leaves one breathless”.On the same site, Alex Turner revealed that the band had listened to Jimi Hendrix and Cream while writing the new album, the title of the which would be Humbug. As announced on the Arctic Monkeys website the first single was “Crying Lightning”, released on 6 July, digitally through iTunes and also received its first radio premiere on the same day. On 12 July 2009, the single “Crying Lightning” debuted at number 12 in the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the UK Indie Chart.
In August 2009 it was announced that Arctic Monkeys were to release a vinyl version of their new single “Crying Lightning” exclusively through Oxfam shops, with proceeds going to the charity. The 7-inch release also came with a code to enable download of a free MP3 version. In October 2009, the band announced that “Cornerstone” was the second single from Humbug, and was released on 16 November with the video premiering on 15 November. The music video, directed by Richard Ayoade, who worked on the videos of “Fluorescent Adolescent”, “Crying Lightning” and their “At the Apollo” DVD, shows frontman Alex Turner singing the song alone in a white room during the whole video. The band continued to work with Oxfam for the release of this single.
Arctic Monkeys embarked on the first leg of the Humbug Tour in January 2009. Arctic Monkeys were the headline act for 2009’s Reading Festival (watch the BBC broadcast), Leeds Festival, and they informed fans that free tickets were included within two copies of their new single Crying Lightning.They were also the headline act on the first night of 2009’s Exit festival in Serbia. It has been announced that they will perform at Osheaga Festival, as part of a line-up which includes Beastie Boys and Coldplay. The tour has already gone through several North American and European legs and is expected to extend well into 2010.
It was announced in February 2010 that the 3rd single to be taken from Humbug would be “My Propeller”, released on March 22, shortly before a one off UK show at the Royal Albert Hall in support on the Teenage Cancer Trust on March 27.
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