The group alt-J took some time to develop. Started as a group of college friends in Leeds, England, in 2007, the band released its debut album in 2012 to critical acclaim.This follow-up will not disappoint their fans, and it may win some new listeners.
Using electronics to supplement the band’s otherwise garage-band sound, they loop and distort vocals, sampling from artists ranging from Miley Cyrus to Bright Eyes, while leading with compelling melodies on keyboards and guitar. The bass and drums remain somewhat in the background. As indie rock goes, this is "easy listening."
On this album, lyrical themes include songs about a mythical place called Nara. It is hard not to think that they might be influenced by C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. From "Nara" they sing, "Love, love is the warmest colour/Petrol blues, hallelujah, hallelujah/Come, saut dans le vide [leap into the void], my lover/I've found a love to love like no other can/He's found me, my Aslan."
This album still carries adult themes with some explicit lyrics, and at times the words exploit religious language to express the depth of human longings and romance. It might take more than one listen, but each repeated listening is rewarded with hearing more layers. (Atlantic)