Musicians can be restless souls—uninhibited even by mountains of platinum records and awards. For these individuals, a side project can be the proper outlet to channel one’s overflowing creative energy. While the results vary, side projects can be a wonderful endeavor—offering up a new musical setting for both artists and consumers. Here’s a list of four side projects that should reunite and come back for another go around.
1. The Raconteurs
In March 2014, Brendan Benson crushed the hearts of Raconteurs fans as he announced in an interview that a new album was “kind of off the table,” suggesting that the group’s hiatus is more like a split.
The blues-rock quartet comprises Jack White, formerly of the White Stripes, Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence of The Greenhornes, and Benson, a solo artist from Detroit. The group has been wary to take on the term “supergroup” though, claiming that the project wasn’t a premeditated effort, but rather, the result of a long over due jam session between friends.
Despite Benson’s words, we can only hope the group meets up again soon now that all members have relocated to Nashville, including White, who is currently working towards a third LP with his other side project, The Dead Weather.
2. The Horrible Crowes
In 2011, The Gaslight Anthem’s frontman Brian Fallon decided to take a temporary career detour from his trademark vein-bulging rock arrangements in favor of slow ballad choruses that linger not far from Tom Waits territory. Teaming up with friend/guitar tech Ian Perkins, Fallon ditched his trademark deep bellow and yelping for a soulful croon that carries the dark edge of the duo’s debut LP, Elsie.
Despite reaching critical acclaim following the release, little has been heard from the pair since, and Fallon has seemingly returned full-time to his duties with Gaslight. Fingers crossed though.
3. Last Shadow Puppet
No one sums up the freewheeling spirit of the modern British rock revival like the Arctic Monkeys and its idiosyncratic frontman Alex Turner, who spent his 2014 BRIT Awards acceptance speech rambling on about the nonsensical value of trophies.
And yet, of all the unexpected things Turner has done, forming the Last Shadow—a co-production with former Rascals leader, Miles Kane—at the height of Arctic Monkey mania might just top the list. It was a move of sheer madness that worked wonders for Turner and Kane as their debut album, The Age of Understatement, a brilliantly constructed epic of full swooping crescendos and high fevers, went straight to number on the UK charts.
4. Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures self-titled debut not only met, but also completely surpassed the high expectations placed on the newly formed supergroup—a tripod of rock giants spanning three generations: Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. A bluesy mix of reverberating riffs, sly licks and forward trudging drums, the album scored the hard-rockers a Grammy award in 2011 for “Best Hard Rock Performance” and even had Grohl talking about making a second, which mostly went unchecked. But here’s to hoping.
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