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Alt-J|The Dream

The Dream

alt-J

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Following a five-year gap between releases, English alt-rock trio Alt-J returned with something unexpected: a focused album with a handful of traditionally structured pop songs that some could say were radio-friendly. By no means a mainstream sellout, The Dream is the tightest attack the group have recorded to date, channeling their usual quirky tendencies into a clearer vision that veers between the comforting and the devastating. Loosely connected by tales of warm memories and cold crimes, these dozen tracks feature some of the band's most evocative storytelling, whether that involves frontman Joe Newman embodying a struggling thespian-turned-drug dealer ("The Actor"), a justified murderer ("Happier When You're Gone"), or even a tech bro striking big with cryptocurrency ("Hard Drive Gold"). Alt-J's typical kitchen-sink approach to sonics hasn't weakened, whether they're dropping a trance beat and fevered chanting onto pastoral acoustic folk ("Chicago"), recruiting an opera singer and harpsichord for a dramatic thumper ("Philadelphia"), or employing a barbershop quartet to back a spare Thom Yorke-styled dirge ("Walk a Mile"). In addition to the expansive opener, "Bane" (which cleverly utilizes the sound of a soda can cracking open on a nostalgic snapshot of summer love), other highlights include the radio hit "U&ME" and the aforementioned "Hard Drive Gold," a pulsing groover that might be one of the catchiest songs they've written thus far. On the other end of the spectrum, "Get Better" is a tender heartbreaker that features the most crushing lyrics on the album, facing loss and death with such elegance that it rivals the most mournful moments from Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes. While the record's extended coda is more fizzle than comedown, there's still plenty of beauty to be found in the latter third, and fans from all eras will find something to love at every turn. Their best since 2014's This Is All Yours, The Dream finds Alt-J in top form. Despite being so lyrically death-obsessed, the beauty and warmth coursing through the album make it full of life and absolutely human.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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The Dream

Alt-J

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1
Bane
00:05:10

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Lance Reynolds, Sound Effects - Highgate School Choir, Choir - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Organ, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Tim Rundle, Crumhorn - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - David Force, Bagpipes, Crumhorn - Annabelle Holmes, Vocals - Christopher Bage, Vocals - Eleanor Speranza, Vocals - Elijah Gazzard, Vocals - Etienne Torossian-Hall, Vocals - Jemima Farooqi, Vocals - Rowan Wijeyeratne, Vocals - Tzi Yung Wong, Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

2
U&ME
00:03:18

Joe Newman, Composer, Additional Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Matthew Ward, Violin - Highgate School Choir, Choir - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Additional Percussion, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Organ, Additional Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Additional Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Katie Earl, Engineer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Annabelle Holmes, Vocals - Caliegh Wallace, Backing Vocals - Christopher Bage, Vocals - Eleanor Speranza, Vocals - Elijah Gazzard, Vocals - Etienne Torossian-Hall, Vocals - Jemima Farooqi, Vocals - Rowan Wijeyeratne, Vocals - Tyler DeFord, Sound Effects - Tzi Yung Wong, Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

3
Hard Drive Gold
00:02:38

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Highgate School Choir, Choir - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Annabelle Holmes, Vocals - Christopher Bage, Vocals - Eleanor Speranza, Vocals - Elijah Gazzard, Vocals - Etienne Torossian-Hall, Vocals - Jemima Farooqi, Vocals - Rowan Wijeyeratne, Vocals - Tzi Yung Wong, Vocals - Anna-Zara Newman, Spoken Voice Vocals - Cordelia Unger-Hamilton, Spoken Voice Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

4
Happier When You're Gone Explicit
00:04:00

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Matthew Ward, Violin - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Organ, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Katie Earl, Engineer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Sarah Andrew, Bassoon

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

5
The Actor Explicit
00:04:00

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Matthew Ward, Violin - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - April Unger-Hamilton, Backing Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

6
Get Better
00:05:51

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Trevor Mires, Trombone - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Organ, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Percussion, Writer - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - April Unger-Hamilton, Spoken Voice Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2021 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

7
Chicago
00:03:55

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Matthew Ward, Violin - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

8
Philadelphia
00:03:38

Joe Newman, Composer, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Matthew Ward, Violin - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - Will Gardner, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Christie Valeriano, Backing Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Walk a Mile
00:06:29

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Andrew Cohen, Sound Effects - Matthew Ward, Violin - Kirsty Mangan, Violin - George Eddy, Backing Vocals - Will Gardner, Backing Vocals, Strings Conductor - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Andy Marshall, Double Bass - Ciaran McCabe, Violin - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Katie Earl, Engineer - Reinoud Ford, Cello - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Arianna Cohen, Spoken Voice Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

10
Delta
00:01:00

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Writer - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Losing My Mind
00:04:42

Mark Newman, Spoken Voice Vocals - Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Bass Guitar, Organ, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production, Spoken Voice Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Powders
00:04:41

Joe Newman, Composer, Vocals, Writer - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Charlie Andrew, Producer, Engineer, Programmer - alt-J, MainArtist - Gus Unger-Hamilton, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Thom Sonny Green, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Programmer, Writer, Spoken Voice Vocals - Matt Glasbey, Engineer, Additional Production - Arianna Cohen, Spoken Voice Vocals

© 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2022 alt-J under exclusive license to Infectious Music Ltd., a BMG Company

Album Description

Following a five-year gap between releases, English alt-rock trio Alt-J returned with something unexpected: a focused album with a handful of traditionally structured pop songs that some could say were radio-friendly. By no means a mainstream sellout, The Dream is the tightest attack the group have recorded to date, channeling their usual quirky tendencies into a clearer vision that veers between the comforting and the devastating. Loosely connected by tales of warm memories and cold crimes, these dozen tracks feature some of the band's most evocative storytelling, whether that involves frontman Joe Newman embodying a struggling thespian-turned-drug dealer ("The Actor"), a justified murderer ("Happier When You're Gone"), or even a tech bro striking big with cryptocurrency ("Hard Drive Gold"). Alt-J's typical kitchen-sink approach to sonics hasn't weakened, whether they're dropping a trance beat and fevered chanting onto pastoral acoustic folk ("Chicago"), recruiting an opera singer and harpsichord for a dramatic thumper ("Philadelphia"), or employing a barbershop quartet to back a spare Thom Yorke-styled dirge ("Walk a Mile"). In addition to the expansive opener, "Bane" (which cleverly utilizes the sound of a soda can cracking open on a nostalgic snapshot of summer love), other highlights include the radio hit "U&ME" and the aforementioned "Hard Drive Gold," a pulsing groover that might be one of the catchiest songs they've written thus far. On the other end of the spectrum, "Get Better" is a tender heartbreaker that features the most crushing lyrics on the album, facing loss and death with such elegance that it rivals the most mournful moments from Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes. While the record's extended coda is more fizzle than comedown, there's still plenty of beauty to be found in the latter third, and fans from all eras will find something to love at every turn. Their best since 2014's This Is All Yours, The Dream finds Alt-J in top form. Despite being so lyrically death-obsessed, the beauty and warmth coursing through the album make it full of life and absolutely human.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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