Review of The Dream Synopsis EP by The Last Shadow Puppets

After keeping fans waiting eight years for their much-anticipated second album, it seems as if the dream pairing of Arctic Monkey's Alex Turner and former Rascals frontman Miles Kane - aka The Last Shadow Puppets - have caught the releasing bug, as just eight months on comes 'The Dream Synopsis EP'. 

The Last Shadow Puppets The Dream Synopsis EP

Recorded over one day in August 2016, the EP comprises two re-recordings of tracks off their second album, 'Everything You've Come To Expect', and four cover versions from artists including Leonard Cohen and The Fall. 'Aviation' leads the charge and, while the album version leant towards the Baroque Pop sound that dominated their first release, this re-recording draws upon the genre even further - with a greater (and welcome) emphasis on the strings and orchestral instruments that stir behind Turner's crooning and have become almost synonymous with TLSP's sound. 

Next up is 'Les Cactus', a cover of a 1967 French release that's sung by Turner entirely in its original language. Initially it seems a bit of a strange choice, but once the 60s-esque guitar melodies that are comparable to TLSP's retro style kick in, you soon realise it's actually a rather shrewd pick. Kane takes over vocal duties for a cover of The Fall's 'Totally Wired' and, although his raspier vocals are perfectly suited to its more frenetic pace, the punk sound of this track overall causes it to be a little out of place in comparison to the other five featured. 

Rounding up proceedings is the song after which the EP is titled, and the second of the re-recorded tracks. Again, the orchestral elements are featured more prominently, and Turner's singing is so beautifully languid and hypnotic that you're totally mesmerised by the time the song softly draws to a close - and left somewhat crestfallen that it's only an EP and not a full album.

Overall, this record feels rougher around the edges, at times as if you've stumbled into the studio in the midst of a practise session. Not only does this offer a pleasant alternative to the usual super-slick production, but the brief soundbites of the band joking as they lead into the songs accentuate the informal, behind the scenes air that will surely please fans. While 'The Dream Synopsis EP' doesn't technically offer much in the way of new material, it's an undeniably enjoyable selection of tracks that perfectly fill the interim until the duo's next release - fingers crossed they don't make us wait as long again.