Hear a new blues-inspired Alt-J song, “Left Hand Free”

Photo by Gabriel Green
Photo by Gabriel Greene

UK rock trio Alt-J have released a second song from their forthcoming album, This Is All Yours, the bluesy “Left Hand Free.” While this sound is unlike the band’s previous releases, the song practically sweats the soul and colloquialisms of a Southern rock classic with a heavy drum beat. This is Alt-J as you haven’t heard them before; though the distinct vocals are surely Joe Newman, it’ll take a second for fans of the indie group to believe it is in fact the same fellows who recorded polished hits like “Tessellate” and “Breezeblocks” on An Awesome Wave. or even the newer ambient sounding first single from their forthcoming album, “Hunger Of The Pine.”

This new direction heard in “Left Hand Free” has us curious about the rest of the album, which is set to be released September 22nd. The group’s tour hits Philly’s Tower Theater November 14th, and you can find more information on our concert calendar here.

Listen to “Left Hand Free” below.


Alt-J release a Miley Cyrus sampled new song, “Hunger Of The Pine,” playing Tower Theatre in November

Photo courtesy of the artist via Facebook.
Photo courtesy of the artist via Facebook.

Moody, experimental British rockers Alt-J are releasing a new album, This Is All Yours on September 22nd, and are playing Friday, November 14th at the Tower Theatre. The trio have released a new song, “Hunger Of The Pine,” that samples the line “I’m a female rebel,” from a Miley Cyrus song, “4 X 4.” “Hunger” starts out slowly, builds, and then holds a mid-tempo groove at an infectious, hypnotic, pulsating simmer. The use of the sample is used sparingly, but effectively, and lead singer Joe Newman sounds as beautiful as ever on the song.

Listen to both songs below.


Sir Sly get suspenseful in the music video for “Gold” (playing Boot and Saddle 10/27)

sir sly profile
Photo via

L.A. based indie alt/rock/pop trio Sir Sly just released the official music video for “Gold,” the title track off of the band’s highly buzzed about Gold EP. The video, which is as suspenseful and anticipatory as the song itself, was fashioned together by award-winning director Ellis Bahl, who also directed Alt-J’s “Breezeblocks” vid. The “Gold” video is dark and eerie, following a suspenseful narrative that adds a whole new dynamic to the track itself, and the two compliment each other perfectly. Sir Sly are currently on tour supporting the Gold EP with a myriad of stops along the East coast, including Philly’s own Boot & Saddle this Sunday, October 27. For a full list of tour dates click here. Watch the video for “Gold” below.


Photo Recap: An entrancing set from Alt-J at The Electric Factory

IMG_4476All photos by Kate McCann |

Last night, UK experimental pop outfit Alt-J played a set to a teeming and enthusiastic crowd at The Electric Factory. The stage was awash in a spectrum of colors as the band worked through its 2012 album An Awesome Wave, along with new track “Warm Foothills” and a cover of College’s “A Real Hero.” Check out photos from the show in the gallery below, and see the setlist after the jump.

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Watch Alt-J perform “Tessellate” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (playing the Electric Factory tomorrow)

alt j

English electronic-pop act Alt-J stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last Thursday.  The band performed “Tesselate” off of their 2012 Mercury Prize-winning debut An Awesome Wave; watch the live video of the downtempo, smoldering track below.  Alt-J play the Electric Factory with Lord Huron tomorrow; tickets and information can be found here.


Just Announced: Alt-J and Lord Huron will play the Electric Factory on 9/17

alt j

British psych-pop outfit Alt-J have added a Philadelphia date to their fall tour, playing the Electric Factory on September 17th.  Since releasing their debut full-length An Awesome Wave last year Alt-J have achieved a swell of success, winning the Mercury Prize and playing to exponentially-increasing crowds (Johnny Brenda’s less than a year ago, Lollapalooza yesterday).  They’ll be joined by Lord Huron, the misty-eyed Americana project of Ben Schneider that won over the hearts of XPoNential-goers just a week ago.  Tickets and information for the show will be available here.  Below, watch Alt-J perform “Matilda” and “Dissolve Me” for La Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows, followed by Lord Huron’s video for “Lonesome Dreams.”


SXSW required watching: Alt-J live in concert from Stubb’s (playing a sold out show this Thursday at TLA)

Alt-J lead vocalist Joe Newman from Stubb's in Austin. (Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR)
Alt-J lead vocalist Joe Newman from Stubb’s in Austin. (Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR)
Alt-J played SXSW this past week as part of the NPR Music showcase along with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Waxahatchee, and Cafe Tacuba. Alt-J put on a mesmerizing performance and if you’re not yet convinced about what all the fuss is over the Mercury Award winning UK band, watch their performance below from the concert. You can download the full set here. Alt-J play a sold out show this Thursday night at the TLA.


My Morning Download: “Tessellate” by Alt-J (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe downloads)

Today’s free World Cafe download is from the British band Alt J. They appeared on World Cafe in December, 2012; you can listen to the audio from that session here. This month only, World Cafe is offering free downloads of performances from bands including Calexico, Lord Huron, John Fullbright, Freelance Whales, Allen Stone and others. You can download all the songs here. Below, download “Tessellate” by Alt-J.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Julie Miller’s Top Five Pond-Crossers of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributor Julie Miller shares her top five pond-crossers of the year.

I was not always an Anglophile.  It all began when I spent several months studying in London in 2011, chasing down any band from Philly that was playing a gig in any corner of the proverbially foggy city.  But once I returned stateside at the start of 2012, I found myself doing the opposite – chasing down any band from the U.K. that was playing in any corner of Philadelphia (and in one or two instances, New York).  The reverse culture shock was significant and unexpected.  As much as I love Philadelphia and its music community (which is to say, a lot) I spent 2012 pining for a metropolis 3500 miles away.  I tried everything to fill the void, from venturing into Haddonfield, NJ for some fish and chips, to drinking cups upon cups of tea (and, of course, wallowing in my room, staring at the hundreds of pictures I had taken).  But then I noticed that my favorite part of London, its eclectic and eye-opening music scene, seemed to have traveled home with me. Continue reading →