The Last Shadow Puppets - The Dream Synopsis EP 12" (Vinyl)

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The Last Shadow Puppets are an English supergroup consisting of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miles Kane (The Rascals), James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) and Zach Dawes (Mini Mansions). The band released their debut album The Age of Understatement in 2008. Following a lengthy hiatus, they returned, releasing second album Everything You’ve Come To Expect in 2016.
The Dream Synopsis is an extended play (EP), released on 2 December 2016. It contains re-recordings of two songs from the band's second album, as well as four cover versions that the band played during their 2016 tour. It was the final release of the band's second period of activity.The Dream Synopsis EP was recorded in one day at Future-Past Studios in August 2016. The songs featured on the release were recorded live in the studio.


Music’s answer to Brexit, TLSP-era Alex Turner is splitting the country with his questionable fashion choices, onstage antics and interview tactics that encourage the onslaught of ‘Is he high?’ comments. The Dream Synopsis EP is the perfect mixture of beautiful lyricism and soft crooning that Turner does so well, along with some quirky madness that almost feels like a taunting joke. Once you get on board with a slight hint of irony and a pinch of salt the experience is much better.
Whether you’re pro- or anti-Alex, the talent exhibited in the exclusive recordings of ‘The Dream Synopsis’ and ‘Aviation’ is undeniable. The lyrics in ‘The Dream Synopsis’ are thought-provoking and almost self-deprecating, asking the listener ‘isn’t it boring when I talk about my dreams?’. The strings on the new versions are much softer and more in line with The Last Shadow Puppets’ debut’s tracks – they would not be out-of-place with the Philharmonic. The EP special ‘Aviation’ recording is arguably an improved version of the album track, and the arrangement is slowed down and much less hyped, which highlights the tone of Miles Kane’s voice. It is the standout vocal performance for Kane and the ideal song to introduce the EP, just as it starts the full album.
The overall order of the EP is well thought-out, starting with ‘Aviation’ and then going into the covers: ‘Les Cactus’ is an upbeat track which is then one-upped by the fast paced ‘Totally Wired’. ‘This Is Your Life’ follows to calm things down for ‘Is This What You Wanted’ and the final track ‘The Dream Synopsis’. The EP has all you could want from Turner and Kane, giving you a feel for their work and personalities in a condensed six tracks. You can imagine the hilarity they have when recording, with the over-the-top gesturing on stage and the small addition of ‘How was that, Yoko?’ at the end of ‘Aviation’.
‘Les Cactus’ was debuted on tour in Lyon, which was a good fit at the time, surprising the audience with a rendition of a classic in their native language. This track on the EP is more of a novelty; I feel you need to be a real fan of Alex Turner and his voice to find the swagger and exaggerated French appealing, even if ironically. ‘Totally Wired’ is a cover I’ve seen live and it did work well, with Kane’s shrill voice riling up the crowd who were very up for a fight. However, with production and recording the track loses something, and its verses especially end up sounding weirdly like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As one of Miles Kane’s few solo appearances the cover is disappointing and one to skip, the whole set up not fitting with The Last Shadow Puppets’ theme. The strange choice of cover song continues with ‘This Is Your Life’, a relatively unknown song by Glaxo Babies but a standard indie anthem.
The final cover of ‘Is This What You Wanted’ is a beautiful arrangement and a perfect tribute to the late Leonard Cohen. Alex Turner croons his way through the powerful lyrics, giving every word meaning, and Miles provides the complementary backing vocals. It’s a track to calm you and take you away for those six minutes 47 seconds in the best way music can. Despite the lack of B-sides or new songs, as the possible last venture for The Last Shadow Puppets, The Dream Synopsis – EP is a good representation of the band and I would definitely recommend listening to the new versions of the album songs.

By: Emma Bishop.

A1 Aviation
A2 Les Cactus
A3 Totally Wired
B1 This Is Your Life
B2 Is This What You Wanted
B3 The Dream Synopsis

Cat number: RUG799T. On Domino Records.
Recorded at Future-Past Studios, New York.