I felt quietly confident about my judgements of what Alt-J’s next moves would be after hearing ‘Hunger of the Pine‘, which featured a vocal sample of Miley Cyrus’ track ‘4×4‘. They wanted to keep their unique, albeit obscure sound, but update it slightly to make it more ‘current’. More 2014, where it’s the norm to mix together whichever genres you please, as shown by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, and listeners are far more open minded – pretty much anything goes these days.
However ‘Left Hand Free‘ - the second song to be previewed from their upcoming album, This Is All Yours – has made me doubt those assumptions. It wouldn’t sound out of place sitting between any of the fourteen tracks on their debut, An Awesome Wave, and seems to follow that older Alt-J approach to songwriting, rather than the 2014 spin they put on things with ‘Hunger of the Pine‘.
Quite frankly, it’s left me stumped. I just don’t know what to expect now from the second album. Did they lure us in with ‘Hunger of the Pine’ to make us think they were slowly and subtly making changes to their sound, which would have been a healthy progression, only to fill the rest of the album with the brothers and sisters, possibly even twins, of the tracks on An Awesome Wave.
Whatever happens, we'll still love them, because there really isn't anyone quite like Alt-J.