It was a cover Ellie Goulding did of their song “Tessellate” that first introduced me to English indie pop band alt-J (or ∆ as they are also known). The song was taken from their debut album, Mercury Prize-winning An Awesome Wave which came out back in 2012, landing at #13 on the UK Album chart and at #80 on the Billboard 200. While the band kind of fell off my radar, new single, “Hunger Of The Pine” brought me back in…thanks in large part to a Miley Cyrus sample.
“Hunger Of The Pine” is the first UK single taken from alt-J‘s upcoming sophomore album, This Is All Yours, out September 22nd (Canvasback/Infectious Music/Atlantic) in the U.S. Throughout the song we hear Miley Cyrus singing “I’m a female rebel,” a lyric taken from her 2013 Bangerz track, “4X4.” The video, which premiered last week, was directed by Nabil and based on a concept by alt-J‘s own Joe Newman. Check out the Hunger Games-esque video below, gorgeously shot against a gorgeous wooded backdrop. The video features a tall, handsome young man sprinting through a forest, running away from something or someone, arrows whizzing by. The haunting video perfectly complements the song’s own dark & trippy production. With a back full of arrows, the young man runs across an empty field, blood all over his face. Not sure what the story behind this concept is, but I’d love to know. The finished product is quite beautiful and yes, quite sad.
Alt-J are Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green. Following the release of the their critically acclaimed debut album, The New York Times described the band’s sound as “a handsome alloy of dry acoustic timbre and reverberant effect, suggesting a very British convergence of texture-minded electronic music and psychedelic folk.” The album was a fav of critics and fans a like, with Bob Boilen of NPR naming it his Album of the year in 2012 and reputable publications (musically-inclined and otherwise) like The Wall Street Journal and Billboard adding it to their Top 10 lists. The album has since sold over one million copies and been streamed more than 200 million times on Spotify.
This Is All Yours is out September 22nd (iTunes). Check out alt-J LIVE when they embark on their North American tour (dates below) this fall. Watch the “Hunger of the Pine” video below and stream “Left Hand Free,” the first U.S. single above.
October 14 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theater – SOLD OUT
October 15 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
October 16 – Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom – SOLD OUT
October 17 – Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom – SOLD OUT
October 18-19 – San Francisco, CA- Treasure Island Music Festival
October 20 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theater
October 21 – Pomona, CA – Fox Theater
October 24 – San Diego, CA – Soma
October 24 – 26 – Las Vegas, NV – Life Is Beautiful Festival
October 27 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
October 28 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
October 31 – Minneapolis, MN – Myth
November 01 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre – NEW DATE ADDED
November 02 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre – SOLD OUT
November 04 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
November 05 – Dallas, TX – Southside Ballroom
November 06 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
November 07-09 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
November 10 – Detroit, MI – The Filllmore
November 11 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus – SOLD OUT
November 12 – Montreal, QB – Metropolis – SOLD OUT
November 14 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
November 16 – New York, NY – Beacon Theater – SOLD OUT
November 18 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
November19 – Washington, DC – Echostage