Alt-J’s New ‘Left Hand Free’ Video Gets Hella American

Mercury Prize winners Alt-J have always balanced their alt internet-y musical sensibilities with a fondness for vocals sung with a southern twang. And we love them for it. “Left Hand Free” is the second song and first single to be released from the band’s forthcoming album This Is All Yours due out September 23.

Starting out with a drunken teenage tubing trip down a river, and arriving all the way at a country boy spinning out on his revved up 4-wheeler, somehow these UK boys, as with their twang, are out American-ing the Americans.

Alt-J’s New Song Features Miley Cyrus. What? Yes.

Ok so here is what you need to know. The song is called “Hunger of the Pine.” It’s really good. The Miley Cyrus sample is from the song “4×4” and it’s her singing “I’m a female rebel.” (Yes you are girl!!!!) By the way, that’s pine as in longing for, not as in the tree. Their new album This Is All Yours comes out in September. They’ll be touring North America in October.

Here’s the album art:

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Here’re the lyrics:

HUNGER OF THE PINE
Sleeplessly embracing
Butterflies and needles
Line my seamed-up join

Encased in case I need it
In my stomach, for my heart
Chain mail

Hunger of the pine

Sleeplessly embracing
Yawn yearns into me
Plenty more tears in the sea

And so you finally use it
Bedding with me you see at night
Your heart wears knight armour

Hunger of the pine

Sleeplessly
Embracing
You

Realisation grew on me
As quickly as it takes your hand
To warm the cool side of the pillow

I’m there for you, be there for me
I’ll hum the song the soldiers sing
As they march outside our window

Hunger of the pine

Sleeplessly
Embracing
You

Une immense espérance a traversée la terre
Une immense espérance a traversée ma peur

BlackBook Tracks #21: Bringing In The Funk

Hey, how’s your week been? Good? Well, it’s about to get better. Drink some craft beer and listen to these songs. Things are about to get funky.

Jamie Lidell – “What A Shame”

Jamie Lidell moved to Nashville last year to record his forthcoming self-titled album, and “What A Shame” is the first hint at what he’s been up to. It’s a blistering cut from the British-born electro-soul artist, heating things up even more since 2010’s Compass.

School of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”

School of Seven Bells just put out the Put Your Sad Down EP, helmed by a sprawling, majestic title track that clocks in at nearly 13 minutes. For something a little less intimidating, check out another track from the release, “Secret Days,” still a strong listen from the Brooklyn psych-pop duo.

inc. – “5 days”

So, how about that indie R&B scene? L.A. duo inc. are the latest to arrive, and they have a vision that’s dreamy, hazy, and altogether intimate.

Alt-J (feat. Mountain Man) – “Buffalo”

There’s a real cinematic quality to Alt-J’s music, and it’ll be put on full display when this previously unreleased track appears in the upcoming Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper film Silver Linings Playbook. It starts off more airy than what we’re used to hearing from the British art-rockers, but still hints at their characteristic driving low end.

El Perro Del Mar – “Home Is To Feel Like That”

Swedish singer-songwriter El Perro Del Mar’s fifth album, Pale Fire, came out this week. It’s a quiet stunner, and “Home Is To Feel Like That” sees her flirting with electronic glances.

Midnight Magic – “Walking The Midnight Streets”

You need more disco-funk in your life. Here’s the title track from Midnight Magic’s just-released debut LP. It’s a dancefloor-ready good time from a band featuring various DFA alums.

The 1969 Club – “Go Right Ahead”
French garage rock? It’s more likely than you think–or than I thought, anyways. “Go Right Ahead” rips hard, all churning guitars and catchy chorus.

 

Heems – “Third Thing”

 

It feels like more rappers have released mixtapes this week than usual? One of them is Heems of Das Racist, who just dropped Wild Water Kingdom. “Third Thing” sees him teaming up with esteemed Italian dance producers Crookers.

Fine Peduncle – “Hymniptera”

Let’s get weird with some sexy, sinister electro-pop. Looping vocals, choppy synths, and pulsing bass form a mysterious world.

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Alt-J Bring Their Melodic Tunes to Brooklyn

Alt-J’s debut album is called An Awesome Wave, a fitting title for a record that’s home to some of the year’s more interesting melodies. At the Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, the Leeds, UK psych-pop quartet showed off their ability to make a splash on this side of the Atlantic.

This was the second visit to New York for Alt-J (∆), and their first jaunt across the river to Brooklyn after another sold-out date at Mercury Lounge the night before. Their songs flirt with both the minimal and maximal, sometimes even on the same tracks, like "Breezeblocks." Buzzing synths lay the foundations on “Fitzpleasure,” while “Matilda” is pure delicacy. Frontman Joe Newman’s unique voice carries the longing-ridden “Tessellate,” and the band’s harmonies sound as crisp live as they do on record.

Though Newman expressed the requisite “I-can’t-believe-we’ve-come-here” sentiments of an international artist’s early days in America, he’s going to recognize that he’s earned it sooner than later.

An Awesome Wave will see American release in September. Stream the full album here.

BlackBook Tracks #6: Is Your Summer Weird Yet?

It’s mid-July, and by now your summer’s probably getting really good or really weird. (My vote’s for weird, I don’t know about you.) Whatever’s going on, round out your soundtrack with this week’s musical picks.

JEFF the Brotherhood – “Six Pack”

Get to know another side of Nashville with JEFF the Brotherhood. The lead single from their new Dan Auerbach-produced album Hypnotic Nights shows how to stay optimistic about summer, even when it is too hot to live, also known as right now.

The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

San Diego garage rockers the Soft Pack are getting ready to release their next album Strapped on Mexican Summer. First single “Saratoga” hints at the vibes to come.

Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Remember when you first heard Vampire Weekend? Brooklyn’s finest have been keeping quiet while working on their third album, but they resurfaced at the Pitchfork Music Festival last weekend to remind everyone of just how great they are.

The Bewitched Hands – “Thank You, Goodbye, It’s Over”

The charming French indie pop band jangles its way through two and a half minutes of pure pleasantness.

Alt-J – “Tessellate”

See things in a slightly different way with these fast-rising Brits.

Lana Del Rey – “National Anthem” (Das Racist remix)

Nothing like a good remix to make Lana Del Rey more palatable, and Das Racist don’t disappoint.

MNDR – “Faster Horses”

MNDR knows her way around a slick electro-pop tune, and “Faster Horses” is no exception. Keep an eye out for her debut LP Feed Me Diamonds next month.

Discovery – “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (ft. Deradoorian)

The blend of efficiency and pop production on Discovery’s LP make it a summer record with lasting power.

Bear In Heaven – “World Of Freakout”

Bear In Heaven bring the fuzzy, washed-out synths for a song that’s more complex than it initially lets on.

Poolside – “Just Fall In Love”

A record called Pacific Standard Time is irresistable by default, and the California duo Poolside have the disco-inflected chops to back it up.

Kindness – “Anyone Can Fall In Love”

A slow jam for summer nights, British up-and-comer Kindness has a knack for universal pop appeal.

Moonlight Matters – “Come For Me” (ft. Gustaph)

Getting people to dance to songs they’ve never heard before can be a challenge, but this track, assisted by Hercules and Love Affair’s Gustaph, is probably a good place to start.