Disclaimer: This song came out a few weeks ago and I’m well aware it’s old news now. However, ya girl wants to write a blog post and if there’s ever been a band I love more than life itself it’s alt-J. But enough talking, let’s get down to business
At the beginning of March, alt-J returned with a teaser video for a new song, artwork from a video game, and in a Bon-Iver-esque turn of events, hexadecimal encoded Facebook posts.
The teaser only gave away the first 52 seconds of 3WW. Those 52 seconds are marked by an electronic beat and a languid, shimmering guitar. You’re not sure what it reminds you of but it’s a different plain of existence and a different sound than we’ve ever heard from alt-J.
The real wow-moment of the song follows later. There’s shockingly folky, almost spiritual-sounding vocals by Gus Unger-Hamilton, summery guitars, vocals that remind us of dramatic 80s pop (even briefly citing the melody of Ashford & Simpson’s Solid) and a contribution by Wolf Alice’s Ellie Roswell.
Not only the lyrics (which have been beautifully analysed by the folks at Atwood Magazine), which address romance and lust, loneliness and pain in a modern day world, but also the music is what alt-J have done best for years – making some ethereal, complex feeling so tangible that it opens up a whole new perspective.
Their third studio album Relaxer is coming out on June 9 2017 and you can find the link to the preorder below.