The second single from Relaxer is uncharacteristically punchy, forceful, and most importantly, memorable.

Alt-J is one of ‘those’ bands – you either love them or hate them. Personally, I’m one of the first. Their first album, An Awesome Wave, is one of my go-to albums to mark the beginning of summer. It’s light, upbeat, and relaxing. However, my fellow colleagues at WaveByte seem to be part of the latter; they dislike alt-J, describing them as ‘bland, tasteless, and annoying.’ This conflict in views is what makes reviewing music on WaveByte such a pleasure; music is relative and personal, and we each get an insight into what our friends listen too.

Their previous single, 3WW, was good, but not great. It came out just before we launched WaveByte, so I didn’t get much of a chance to talk about it then. To be short, I thought it was very slow; usually, I like longer songs, but when three of the five minutes are taken up by a maraca and guitar playing two strings, I don’t get too excited. In short, I’d give it a 2.5 – it was a taste of what was to come.

In Cold Blood is a much better song in every sense. 3WW was a wild change in terms of pacing and style, but In Cold Blood returns to the classic alt-J housestyle, whilst still revolutionising their fundamental formula. It feels fresh and I’m intrigued to see where the band will take us next. It’s as though we’ve had the two ends of the spectrum; one slower, more simplistic song, and a fast-paced, complex song.

In short, I am excited. alt-J are special to me – their producer, Charlie Andrew, went to the same school as me and I’ve met him on multiple occasions. I even have a signed copy of An Awesome Wave framed on my wall. It’s an awesome thing to feel a part of, even though I haven’t actually done anything. Relaxer is set for release on June 2nd; just in time to become my new favourite summer album.

3.5 / 5 Bytes.

Will Wilkins.


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