Alt-J’s Sophomore Effort This Is All Yours: A Well-Orchestrated Mellow Trance
British indie-rockers Alt-J released their sophomore album titled This Is All Yours this September. They broke out of Leeds, England two years ago when their debut album An Awesome Wave topped indie charts and immediately placed them atop festival lineups at Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, and more. Personally, it took time for me to get into the first album, but when I did there was no turning back. Seeing them live truly was the difference-maker that got me into this “band on a beat.” This is All Yours contains 14 beautifully orchestrated tracks that entrance you through intricate instrumentations. “Warm Foothills” is a violin-driven ballad that exchanges female and male vocals after every line. “Hunger Of The Pine” features a Miley Cyrus sample on the chorus singing, “I’m a female rebel,” which perfectly fits into the abstract choruses Alt-J creates.
The first single on the album, “Left Hand Free”, which was released in the summer, made me extremely excited about the album. Their influence from the bluesy rockers of The Black Keys was evident as they additionally combined their own indie-electronic weird twang on it, making it an indie-rock anthem. Check out the music video below:
Radiohead’s Kid A is a clear influence on these Brit-rockers. Similarities include the simple guitar lines that drive the majority of songs on This Is All Yours, which then weave into xylophones, cool off-time rhythm sections, gospel-like harmonies and falsetto vocals.
This Is All Yours was definitely a well-produced album, but Alt-J is going in a different direction that will significantly affect their live performance. An Awesome Wave had more upbeat songs that blended into catchy choruses, while simultaneously maintaining the band’s unusual indie-electro appeal. I’m interested to see how they will engage an audience aside from the hipsters that will gladly stand in a field amongst many to sway to these intricate instrumentations. I was looking forward to seeing more of the indie-rock element of the band, as “Left Hand Free” had sharp hooks and really engaged me as a listener. I’m skeptical to see how the wooing singer-guitarist Joe Newman will rally a crowd with a new-wave Radiohead album, if you will.
Keep those records spinnin,
Fun fact about Alt-J: their band name was inspired from an apple command, Alt-J (∆).