Review: alt-J – ‘3WW’

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Everything you love about alt-J and more.

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Following a year-long break from music after the This Is All Yours tour, the opener from alt-J’s forthcoming third album Relaxer, set for release on June 9th, is everything a fan could hope for and more. ‘3WW’ charts a further progression for the band, showing a new comfort in a sound that is not concerned with releasing commercial catchy tracks as found on their previous records. It begins with a meditative beat, accompanied by guitar, which underscores the initial part of the track to leave in anticipation of Joe Newman’s unique voice, however it is keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton who utters the first words.

The vocals on ‘3WW’ call out to the folk-inspired aspect of the band – for the first two minutes, it feels as though you’re listening to a Lord Of The Rings soundtrack. From the two-minute point onwards, however, ‘3WW’ morphs into a song which documents sexual encounter and the fragility of love. The chorus line initially sung by Newman (“I just want to love you in my own language”) stands alone, initiating a change in progression of the song until we hear it again jointly with Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell joining onto the hypnotic beat from the beginning of the track. A sensual and gripping return of alt-J’s most admired stylistic devices with more of a relaxed surety in their ability to experiment, if this is anything to go by, we may expect great things from Relaxer.

‘3WW’ is out now via Infectious Music

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