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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

review : alt-j // hunger of the pine

I have to admit, I was a little bit worried when I heard that Alt-J were releasing a new track. Not because I doubted their ability to create an equally mesmerising impact with album number two now that bassist Gwil Sainsbury has left, but because of the hideous images conjured up in my mind upon discovering that the track featured a sample of a Miley Cyrus song. Using music made by the most controversial figure in 2014′s ever-worsening world of pop was a huge risk to take and could of gone horribly wrong, but it didn’t. After hearing ‘Hunger Of The Pine‘ I have fully realised the extent of Alt-J’s musical ability – and that proves exactly why they won the 2012 Mercury Prize with their debut album 'An Awesome Wave' – because they are undeniably a very talented bunch.

Hunger Of The Pine‘ opens with nothing but a steady triplet rhythm and Joe Newman’s soothing vocals. Gradually, in true Alt-J fashion, more orchestral instruments are introduced. This build up leads to a sudden but typical Alt-J infectious beat kicking in, with the vocals subsiding to make way for a distant calling of “I’m a female rebel” by none other than..Miley Cyrus. The use of the vocal sample is far more subtle than I’d expected -thankfully - proving furthermore that Alt-J really do know what they’re doing.
It would seem that the band are going to continue following their original, extraordinary sound and let it evolve naturally; rightly so too because it’s very different to anything else out there. But ‘Hunger Of The Pine‘ has shown that they are equally as keen to incorporate a more current 'pop' element, perhaps to appeal to a wider audience. But if these guys can find a place for Miley Cyrus in their music, then who knows what their next move will be. I’ve got every faith in them.

Written for Post Music Depression

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