Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Alt-J offer support with grief on their latest single ‘Get Better’

Alternative indie band Alt-J have just released their latest single ‘Get Better’ - the second release from the band’s upcoming album ‘The Dream’. In a press statement, the band penned the track as a tribute to frontline workers.   

Two of the three band members feature on the track, with drummer Thom Sonny Green taking a backseat. This choice presents itself clearly in the production, as the song tones down the experimental sound of Alt-J’s previous discography, instead opting for a stripped back melody on acoustic guitar that is accompanied with piano in key moments. 

These subtle elements soothe the ears like a lullaby and make for an appropriate backdrop for the tracks underlying message.

Frontman Joe Newman’s vocals are tender and raw, supported by a littering of airy harmonies from Gus Unger-Hamilton that highlight moments in the run time with sentiment heavy lyrics - the track offers lyricism with an emotional weight, tackling subjects of grief with grace. An impactful lyric repeated at the end of the song is - “I still pretend you're only out of sight / In another room / smiling at your phone”. Grief can manifest in many different forms, addressing this offers support to listeners. Amidst the events of the last year and a half this message is important.

It ends with a hopeful message, the title being a double entendre, initially implying hope for a loved one to ‘Get Better’ and then admittance that the persona in the track is the one who will “Get better / I know I will”.

This release is able to pay homage to an important moment in time without compromising the artistic integrity that the band has cultivated over their nearly decade long career. A gem amongst their colourful body of work, proving that simplicity done correctly can make an impact.

Jessica McCarrick


Image: ‘Get Better’ Official Single Cover 


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