Friday, August 8, 2014

Alt-J dashed off a song in 20 minutes and its the best thing they've written*

Speaking to The Guardian recently, laugh-a-minute indie rockers Alt-J (pictured, above, on the best day of their lives) said their new single was written to appease their US record label.

Apparently Atlantic, home to the Bee Gees and Bruno Mars, didn't think the Miley Cyrus-sampling Hunger Of The Pine was a big radio single (what were they expecting, Livin' On A Prayer?)

And so, the band settled down to write "the least Alt-J song ever", taking a "joke riff" they'd been playing in rehearsals and fleshing it out with the most perfunctory chords and rhythm imaginable. Whereas the band typically spend weeks agonising over every note, The Guardian said, Left Hand Free was written "in about 20 minutes".

The result is just what the label wanted - a big, dumb summer singalong, with a bigger, dumber video to go with it. But the band haven't surrendered completely.

The lyrics are a none-too-subtle dig at US politics, with scathing references to gun culture, and the imperialism of the "new economic order" (NEO? OMG! Gee whiz, girl, you're the one for me).

Still, as much as the band have characterised this as a throwaway joke, it's so infectiously catchy that part of me wishes they'd write all their songs in 20 minutes. Perhaps their super hilarious joke has backfired?

Alt-J - Left Hand Free

* Apart from Tesselate, obviously.

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