If you’ve already listened to An Awesome Wave (2012), then it should come as no surprise that England-based trio, alt-J, is the farthest thing from generic. With the release of their latest album, This Is All Yours, their peculiar sound seems only to have intensified, resulting in a compelling listening experience.
As is characteristic to alt-J, An Awesome Wave is brimming with harmonies, layering, and, of course, the inevitable struggle to decipher what Joe Newman is actually saying. This, however, does not distract in any way from the quality of their sound. In fact, it amplifies its strangeness in such a way that is magnetic. The album’s main quirk lies in the fact that there is a large disconnect between the tracks. While some songs (“Arrival in Nara,” “Pusher,” “Warm Foothills”) are almost hauntingly delicate, other songs possess verve and comedic relief. “Every Other Freckle” particularly speaks to this dynamic; it even includes explicitly sexual content that we recognize all too well from An Awesome Wave: “I’m gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a beanbag/Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet.”
This Is All Yours manages to simultaneously encompass a new sound and stick to what we already know and love about alt-J, and with a two for two track record, all signs point to a bright and unusual future for this band.