With the release of their new album Relaxer right around the corner, alt-J have released their latest single, Adeline. Relaxing and totally charming, the song is a move in the right direction, and returns alt-J to their trademark sound.
Not unlike Matilda from their debut 2012 album, An Awesome Wave, Adeline is a slower song that emphasises frontman Joe Newman’s perfectly indie-style voice. The song begins with a simple guitar riff, coupled with Newman’s trademark lyric-less vocalisations. About a third into the runtime, the song picks up tempo, with the trio harmonising the chorus; this is very much their ‘usual’ sound, and the sound I was looking for when reviewing 3WW and In Cold Blood.
Adeline is a surreal track and it is certainly a song I like to listen to. However, it won’t be for everyone; alt-J are one of my favourite bands, and every summer I listen to their albums whilst relaxing in the sun; for me, alt-J epitomise summer music, though a lot of people I know dislike them for being a bit too different, and I often hear claims that their music is very flat and two-dimensional. In the case of Adeline, I must disagree.
Alas, there is a notable trend with some of the newer alt-J songs – they take a while to pick up, usually with the intro lasting a few bars too many. Adeline might just make this category; it begins to really pick up around the two and a half minute mark, which seems a bit late in my view. We’ll have to see if this continues to be a trend in Relaxer, but for now, it’s not that bad – nothing could be as slow and dull as the first four minutes of 3WW.
Relaxer is set to release on the second of June, and I’ll be writing a piece on it as soon as I can, but until then I can confidently claim that it’s set to be a great album, one that I’m certainly excited for and could potentially become a new favourite. I’m fine with the alt-J boys experimenting so long as they remember their roots and know where their strengths are; in songs like Adeline.
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