Redbrick Music takes a look back at the best albums of 2017.Written by Pablo Doyle, Issy Campbell, Matt Hooper, Barney Whiteside, Niamh Brennan, louisabebb, Luke Bohanan, Sorcha Hornett, Kieran Read, Jack Lawrence, Charlotte Russell, Kat Smith, Greg Woodin, Emily Barker, Kirstie Sutherland, Thom Dent, Katie Leigh-Lancaster, Holly Carter, Luke Charnley, Alex Carmichael, Laura Mosley, Harry Hetherington, Josh Parker, jamesfhill, Jonah Corren, Zoe Screti, Rhi Storer & Suraj Hallan on 12th January 2018
Single Review: alt-j – In Cold Blood
Letty Gardner reviews the second single released by alt-j from their upcoming record
“The new punchy track is big, powerful, and dramatic
‘In Cold Blood’ opens with the non-descript, bizarre lyrics ‘01110011/ Crying zeros and I'm nearing 111’. As usual, achingly cryptic, as Alt-J’s writing always is, but it makes for a catchy opening, as it bounces alongside the jolting drumming, characteristic of the band’s Thom Green.
As if almost predicting the summer success of their album, lead singer Joe Newman sings ‘Hair the way the sun really wants it to be/ Whiskey soda, please, your G&T is empty/ Dips, inflatables have sunk to the bottom/ Pool, summer, summer, pool, pool, summer’. Again, not very coherent, but we get the gist. This is a track, and an album, to be listened to on those glorious summer days. alt-j, hoping to provide the perfect soundtrack for this, have done so with ‘In Cold Blood’.
“This is a track, and an album, to be listened to on those glorious summer days
For me, ‘In Cold Blood’ harkens back to tracks from ‘An Awesome Wave’, such as ‘Taro’ or ‘Something Good’, in the way it builds up to an instrumental and dramatic finale, whilst also foregrounding subtler elements of the track in its opening and close.
The official video for ‘In Cold Blood’ is yet to arrive, but in the meanwhile we can enjoy the techy, strobe-filled work that accompanies the official audio, created by Mario Epsley / Keepitvisual, a similar video accompanying ‘3WW’.
In discussion with NME, Alt-J said ‘The brass was recorded at Abbey Road; the keyboards were done on a Casiotone that cost £1.05 on eBay; and no one is quite sure where the key change comes from. We hope you enjoy it’. Alt-J are not moving far from their playful roots, as the Casiotone suggests, but rather their music is taking on a greater dynamism, and they are not shying away from the bigger sounds. Relaxer is set to be released on June 2nd, and I cannot wait to hear it.