Track Review: U&ME // alt-J

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alt-J’s unique style of indie rock is instantly recognisable, but their new single ‘U&ME’ sees them take a more muted approach to songwriting, in their first new material since 2017’s RELAXER. The single is the first to be taken from their forthcoming album The Dream, and sets the scene for an intriguing and intimate fourth album.

The track begins with a classic alt-J guitar riff, before singer Joe Newman’s distinctive voice joins in, telling us of a dreamy holiday lover. The instrumentation seems more careful than on previous records, each sound delicately placed as the song gradually crescendos to a screeching guitar solo that almost splits the song in half.

As Newman sings that he’s “Hanging on to the memory of that day for the rеst of my life,” it has an almost hypnotic effect on the listener. The outro feels like it is leading us towards something, and as the lead single for The Dream, ‘U&ME’ promises that wherever they are leading us, alt-J still have much more to offer.

Words by Martha Storey

Photo by Rosie Matheson


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