Alt-J Further Their Evolution in Sound With “Left Hand Free”


Following the release of “Hunger Of The Pine,” the breathtaking lead single off Alt-J’s forthcoming sophomore record, This Is All Yours, the trio have released another new track with “Left Hand Free.”

Unlike virtually anything found on their debut, An Awesome Wave, “Left Hand Free” finds the Leeds-based three-piece channeling their classic rock forefathers with a guitar-driven doozy of a jam led by Joe Newman’s vocals reaching new areas of interesting–but not in a bad way at all. In a modern sense, this version of Alt-J could be likened to something of a Portugal. The Man/Jack White hybrid which sounds about as awesome as that may lead you to think. Throw in some aspects of The Beatles and The Band and you have a track that sounds nothing like the previouly released single, yet it somehow raises our anticipation for This Is All Yours even more so.

Get down to “Left Hand Free” after the jump and be sure to pre-order This Is All Yours before it drops on September 22 via Warner Music.

UPDATE: Turns out, the joke’s on us. “Left Hand Free” began simply as a “joke riff” which evolved into a track that Alt-J claims was to appease the label gods and serves as “the least Alt-J song ever.” As they explained to The Guardian, it was apparently written “in about 20 minutes” and lacks the heart and personality that the trio would typically infuse into their works. The band’s American label felt that the previously released “Hunger Of The Pine” wasn’t a “big single,” so the band created this, a song which they (maybe) jokingly fear “someone’s going to walk onstage to at an NRA convention.”

After discovering this information regarding “Left Hand Free,” we’ve seen many a complaint from fans claiming that they’ve since lost respect for Alt-J as they feel this showed a kind of weakness within the band that chose not to stand up for their brand before giving into the label’s wishes. I personally don’t think “Left Hand Free” is a bad track. It certainly isn’t very Alt-J and I’m curious to see how this song flows within the whole of This Is All Yours, but part of me agrees that disclosing the details regarding the song’s process was an odd choice. Why release the song then make excuses for it? If you don’t believe in it then it certainly shouldn’t be featured on your album.

What are your thoughts on the band’s choice to record this track or to even reveal the origin and reasoning behind it?

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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