Alt-J’sdebut album, ‘An Awesome Wave’, caused huge ripples in the musical landscape upon its release in the spring of 2012. Although the record failed to reach the top ten in its first week of sales, it slowly made its way to become platinum, swooping both a Mercury Prize and an Ivor Novello in the process. The group has remained relatively quiet since performing on last year’s festival circuit. Yesterday (June 18th 2014) this all changed, when the band released the first track from their eagerly awaited second album, ‘This Is All Yours’.
‘Hunger Of The Pine’ is the first song to be heard by the public that does not feature Gwil Sainsbury, their former bassist. Sainsbury left the band in January of this year following their US tour. Keyboardist, Gus Unger-Hamilton, claimed that recording without him was a “daunting process” but the quality of the new track gave them a much-needed boost of confidence.
It has become a typical characteristic of the band to push boundaries and experiment with unorthodox techniques. This originality has continued on ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ as the group sample Miley Cyrus’ track, ‘4×4’. After a slow, brooding intro, the track takes an unexpected turn as Cyrus cries, “I’m a female rebel”. The sample initially seems out of place; but as lead vocalist, Joe Newman, sings about missing his lover, the verses twist and turn into a duet between the two. The juxtaposition of Cyrus’ self-confidence and Newman’s self-pity only emphasizes the emotion and yearning within the lyrics.
With no definitive chorus or distinctive melody, it’s an interesting song choice to reignite people’s interests in the band. This being said, if the track indicates anything about the future of the band, it is that they will continue to do things the way that they wish without any constraints of expectation. One thing we do expect from the future, however, is greatness. ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ is merely a teaser of what is yet to come, and the new album, ‘This Is All Yours’, may well be just another step on Alt-J’s ladder to success.
‘This Is All Yours’ is to be released on September 22nd with support from a UK and US tour throughout autumn.
This Is All Yours TRACKLIST:
-Arrival In Nara
-Every Other Freckle
-Left Hand Free
-Garden Of England
-Hunger Of The Pine
-The Gospel Of John Hurt
18 September – Glasgow, Academy
19 September – Manchester, Apollo
22 September – Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
23 September – Brighton Centre
24 September – London, Alexandra Palace
27 September – Dublin, O2 Arena
29 September – Paris, Casino de Paris
14 October – Vancouver, BC, Orpheum theatre
15 October – Seattle, WA, Paramount theatre
16 October – Portland, OR, Roseland Ballroom
20 October – Los Angeles, CA, Greek theatre
21 October – Pomona, CA, Fox theatre
24 October – San Diego, CA, Soma
27 October – Salt Lake City, UT, the Complex
28 October – Denver, CO, Fillmore Auditorium
31 October – Minneapolis, MN, Myth
2 November, Chicago, IL, Riviera theatre
4 November – Tulsa, OK, Cain’s Ballroom
5 November – Dallas, TX, Southside Ballroom
6 November – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
7-9 November – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
10 November – Detroit, MI – The Filllmore
11 November – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus
12 November – Montreal, QC, Métropolis
14 November – Philadelphia, PA, Tower theatre
16 November – New York, NY, Beacon theatre
18 November – Boston, MA, Orpheum theatre
19 November – Washington, DC, Echostage