No longer just the underground hipster misfits trying making triangles cool again, Alt-J are now indispensable to the soundtrack of 2017. Teasing their third album RELAXER, the second single just dropped and confirmed our suspicions raised by 3WW: Alt-J have become seriously sexual.
When indie becomes erotic
Devour me, kiss me, dissolve me — Alt-J beg their listeners to connect with them, stimulating reactions from a place indie guitars have tried many a time in the past. But the dexterous instrumental experimentation from the British musical trio may have just cracked it.
Their second album This Is All Yours literally gifts itself to listeners, and the erotic tension that crept into ‘Fitzpleasure’ (“In your snatch fits pleasure/broom-shaped pleasure”) and ‘Tesselate’ from their debut album sees its climax in Every Other Freckle — “turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet,” they tease.
This plea and direct address of arousal aren’t exclusive to the new release, but what was present in the past discography in smatterings here takes centre stage.
Fans have had a pretty hard time keeping it all in — within minutes of its release, the responses to new single In Cold Blood were somewhat visceral, to say the least.
The track features the recognizable strand of cryptic lyrics, but flirts with listeners thanks to a simple ‘kiss me’, which resonates. They do aim to please. The song builds, and climaxes at just over a minute in with a triumphant horn exclamation. Not a euphemism.
Throughout their discography, Alt-J have oscillated between two estranged identities. The completely alien language of its words still puzzles listeners, with lyrics that transcend metaphoric poetry (“A canopy of red-billed quelea/passed over the blue” calls to the well-versed bird aficionados).
This is balanced by the lust-filled undertones which now rise, with a very direct sexual address. Consuming, tasting, licking, adoring —the language of love for Alt-J is visceral and tactile.
The band’s name refers to the keyboard shortcut (did someone say #millenial?) which creates Δ, the delta symbol. The fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, most interestingly delta is recognized in science as indicating “change” or “difference”.
Exploring genre experimentation through folktronica and indie pop-rock, and fusing it with a heightened sexual proclamation, they’ve already proved their point by shaking up the subdued generic Spotify leaderboards for the better.
If ever there were a lyric to embody the mysterious and magnetic appeal of Alt-J, the track that revealed the first glimpse of the upcoming album, 3WW, says it best: “I just want to love you in my own language,” they whimper.
Originally published on Konbini