Alt-J Proves It’s Beyond Definition, Release Sweeping New Track “Adeline”

Alt-J Proves It’s Beyond Definition, Release Sweeping New Track “Adeline”

Alt-J Proves It’s Beyond Definition, Release Sweeping New Track “Adeline”


I started listening to alt-J midway through high school.

The English indie rock outfit’s breakout track “Breezeblocks” was as the cliche goes, “the soundtrack to my life” upon its release. I had recently withdrawn myself from an admittedly two-way emotionally-draining relationship of several years.

“Breezblocks” was an immeasurably powerful tune, gracing my ears at seemingly just the right time.

Not only was I yet to have had a track strike a cord within me to its degree, or measure up to its color at the time, its surreal juxtaposition seemed like everything I was facing.

Naive at the time, yet cultivating the larger understanding because of this track, the impact music would have personally and in direct relation to my growth throughout my lifetime.

You see, “Breezeblocks” is the British term for cinder blocks. The track equates the feeling of love and loving someone so much that the crushing weight of it all feels as if it may kill you or that person if you’re not removed from underneath.

“Oh, please don’t go! We’ll eat you whole! We love you so!,” the group sings. Equating and quoting Where the Wild Things Are cannibalism to the energy between the two.

alt-J An Awesome Wave

The group’s breakout record made some awesome waves in the industry upon its release.

alt-J was suddenly something of an anomaly. What had intrigued myself and many others  was the fact that the group had not placed themselves in a box. They just played music and were their own, earning themselves comparisons to the beloved rock outfit Radiohead along the way. 

alt-J reportedly worked on their first record for five years and it absolutely shows. In the aftermath of An Awesome Wave’s tour alt-J disappeared to then record and subsequently release This is All Yours two years later in 2014.

Much had changed in the two years since An Awesome Wave’s release. The band’s rise to fame and perhaps too highly regarded first record yielded a new one that in turn came off dull and largely uneventful, as if the band was doing everything in its power to escape electronic indie rock and even embraced female-vocals for the very first time. (Miley Cyrus at that.)

Let it be known, This is All Yours is a good record in that it’s easily accessible to individuals aiming to delve into introspective indie rock. Unfortunately it’s texturized mainstream indie rock at best.

It takes a much softer approach to it’s discussion of relationships and maintains safe soothing vocals over its course, cooed by lead singer Joe Newman.

What is most striking to me about the last record and perhaps relates to why I ignored it for so long, is that it seemed to go against everything alt-J set forth in An Awesome Wave. 

The band came off as if it were trying hard to prove something. They’re talented musicians and this is absolutely displayed on This Is All Yours. Many of the tracks are beautiful, but in its adherence to soft-spokenness, the album was lost on me. As so I’ve found it was on many fans.

Now here we are in 2017 and alt-J has returned.

The group will be releasing their new album, Relaxer, in a few short weeks on June 2nd.

We’ve now already heard two tracks off the record “3WW” and “In Cold Blood”, paired with incredible videos alongside them with stunning visualizations.

The latest track “Adeline” tells the story, as much of the group’s tracks do, of “a Tasmanian devil who falls in love with a women as he watches her swim”, per the group’s Twitter.

alt-J adeline

“Adeline” feels like the perfect fusion of the band’s two records, and in the three years between their latest release it has the most pleasant ghostly sound, perhaps the sign a stunning third record is on its way.


Catch alt-J on their recently expanded worldwide tour and wide array of festivals dates beginning this summer. View the tour dates here.


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Grace Fleisher Former Managing Editor