I have a complex feeling about the new album.
I took a while to love Hunger Of The Pine because of my resistance of Miley Cyrus, but then I gradually admitted the magic of the sample and fell in love with the song.
Now, Left Hand Free, a bluesy rock song. I am confused again, I don’t think I am the only one doubt about it though.
Not everyone was so thrilled about Hunger Of The Pine. Another hazard of success is that the suits start sticking their oars in, and Alt-J’s American label didn’t view the song as a “big single”, apparently ignoring the fact that An Awesome Wave did pretty well without one. Hackles (mildly) raised, Alt-J resolved to write “the least Alt-J song ever”, taking a “joke riff” Joe had been playing in rehearsals and fleshing it out with the most perfunctory chords and rhythm imaginable. Whereas the band typically spend weeks agonising over every note, Left Hand Free was written “in about 20 minutes”. Needless to say, the US label loved it.
Alt-J perform at The ALTimate Rooftop Christmas Party, 2013. Photograph: Christopher Polk
Thom: “I tried to make the drums as cliched as possible, there’s none of my personality in it.”
Gus: “I’m doing some kind of organ solo. I don’t know where ‘baby’ came from.”
Joe: “And I say, ‘Gee whizz,’ which I’m not sure is a phrase I’ve ever uttered before. I can imagine it appealing to American truckers with Good Riddance To Bin Laden stickers!”
“Oh God…” says Gus, a worrying realisation dawning. “Someone’s going to walk onstage to it at an NRA convention.”
— The Guardian
FUCK the label!