Alt-J is a Mac keyboard shortcut for the delta sign (∆). Alt-J is also an indie-rock band from Leeds, England that released its second album on Sept. 22, “This is All Yours.”
The band has experienced fast success since its debut album, “An Awesome Wave,” was released in May 2012. The band’s second attempt will not disappoint the newborn fan base.
Just as the delta sign signifies change in scientific circles, “This is All Yours” provides change within and between every song on the 14-track album. Intro gets things started by mixing unique layers of a capella vocals to make for a free-flowing sound.
Left Hand Free is a solid track and is one of three singles released prior to the rest of the album. While previous songs, such as Nara, have an orchestral taste, Left Hand Free sounds like a 1970’s rock song, complete with just the right amount of cowbell.
The album’s interlude, Garden of Eden, uses only flutes but adds chirping birds. The combination gives the track a calming renaissance sound that grabs listeners’ attention with the noticeable change.
Hunger of the Pine, another single, contains perhaps the biggest surprise of the album. The sad, chant-like melodies of the track are suddenly interrupted by the voice of Miley Cyrus proclaiming, “I’m a female rebel.” The random weave works well, reminding listeners that anything is possible if a Miley sample can be used in an indie-rock song.
Alt-J encourages listeners to approach songs as a whole by pushing lyrics into the background, making them difficult to pick up. When surfaced, lyrics are unique and, at times, pretty creepy. For example, in the last of the three singles, Every Other Freckle, a lover describes his relationship with the woman he desires to a cat. Not the typical love-song metaphor used by most artists, but alt-J pulls it off because the lyrics are coupled with equally unique instrumentals.
“This is All Yours” is a quality album that takes listeners down a road of twists and turns. The flow remains surprisingly smooth despite rapid and sudden changes in style and instrumentals.