Three years on from the release of second album This Is All Yours, psych-indie rockers alt-J have made a vibrant return to the music scene with new single 3WW, the lead single from upcoming third studio album Relaxer. Musically, 3WW is one of the most skilled, intricately produced tracks to be released in the last few years, really showcasing the incredible skill and talent of alt-J. It’s a very broodingly melancholic track, with a sense of nostalgia to it; maybe this nostalgia arises from the fact that it’s got that pure authentic sound that’s so reminiscent of the 2014/2015 indie sound, when bands like Peace and Swim Deep were heading the underground indie scene. It’s a very carefully controlled track, and the thing with alt-J which makes them such an intriguing band is how meticulous their tracks are and how well written and well constructed they are; 3WW has this aura which leaves you almost breathless, just wanting more and more from the track. It’s a dark art-pop indie quality 3WW has, a track you just wish would be endless.
alt-J have yet again produced a beautifully nostalgic track which has this emotional, almost sad, aura to it, very thought provoking and emotive. The track, which features the London Metropolitan Orchestra, also features guest vocals from Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. Ellie’s voice is easily one of the best in the rock industry right now, with this hauntingly raw raspy quality, which layers over the music in the most stunning way. The band use a mixture of distorted electronic sounds as well as orchestral instruments to build up the track’s immensity; they also use the soft lightness of the piano and background sounds of people speaking and laughing to add to the brooding authenticity and nostalgia of it.
Featuring Ellie on the track was a genius move from alt-J; her voice can be gritty and loud and powerful (just listen to tracks by Wolf Alice like Giant Peach or You’re A Germ), but on certain tracks by Wolf Alice like Soapy Water, Turn To Dust, and The Wonderwhy, you get to hear the softer more light, cutting tone to her voice. Wolf Alice and alt-J have always been linked quite closely, with alt-J partaking in last year’s Bands 4 Refugees gig which Ellie organised, and back in 2015 Wolf Alice performed a beautiful cover of alt-J’s Matilda in the Radio One Live Lounge. Lyrically the track is beautiful too, with the soft emotive line of ‘I just want to love you in my own language‘ being used repeatedly throughout the track. It’s emotive as in the lyrics and beautiful melody build up to create a romantically nostalgic, emotional track. It’s sexy too, with this intoxicating drugged up effect that just takes over you as a listener completely. As the lead single for the band’s upcoming third album which comes out in June, Relaxer is set to be one of the most class releases of 2017.