Listening to Alt-J is like lying down in the dark and seeing the stars for the first time. They represent the clutter of life excellently, juxtaposing dubstep rhythms with eerie folk vocals, playing jewellery box melodies alongside lyrics of darker tones. Together, they dismember the illusion that youth and innocence is one and the same thing. In all, it’s no surprise they’re favourites to win the Mercury Prize – proven simply by their latest single, Something Good.
The song opens with clean jolted drums, absorbing the haunting melodies which are coated with the pained message of the song: “Something good tonight will make me forget about you for now”. This is a song about unrequited love, which, very originally, uses the image of the matador as a metaphor. Lyrics, carried on the back of a surreptitious baseline, talk of distraction, love and pain and how we must put an end to this such love, killing it swiftly and sharply, like the “estocada” of the title.
Something Good was released on 1 October. If you haven’t done so already, buy the album. Revel in their boundary-breaking alternative indie pop genius.