Alt-J's new album, All This is Yours, has landed. And – like the debut – it's fantastic.
Like An Awesome Wave, it opens with an Intro and it includes Bloodflood pt. II (a stripped-back, re-orchestrated variation on the original) and a brilliant cover of Bill Withers's Lovely Day (a bonus track).
One of the best songs has to be Every Other Freckle, if only for the lyrics (but of course the sound and melody are great too):
"I’m gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a beanbag / Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet"
Arrival in Nara and Nara both have the vibe of the beloved Taro from the first album and Hunger of the Pine gives us that fantastic Alt-J sound in a great melody and understated synths.
Lead singer Joe Newman's voice is unique – Warm Foothills shows how nimbly he can jump between the low and high registers with his voice – and there is nothing else quite like Alt-J's carefully considered instrumental combinations, delicate melodies and clever lyrics.
The only thing, for me, is that the new record doesn't have a stand-out track like Tessellate from the first. With repeated listening, one will probably emerge...
Basically, this album had a lot to live up to following An Awesome Wave, one that a thousands-strong crowd loved enough to sing word-for-word and in track order at Glastonbury 2013, and the boys have nailed it.
If you like this, why not try:
• The Playlist: George Ezra
• The Playlist: Trentemøller
• First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
• The Playlist: John Grant