Photo Credit: Rosie Matheson
Mercury Prize-winning, multiple GRAMMY and BRIT Award-nominated band alt-J have announced their eagerly awaited fourth studio album ‘The Dream’, set for release on 11 February 2022.
The band’s revelatory new single U&ME is out now. U&ME is the first new music from alt-J since their acclaimed third album ‘RELAXER’ in 2017.
Directed by band member Gus’ brother Prosper Unger-Hamilton, the video for U&ME is the first to feature the full band. It’s an evocative video that recalls treasured memories and captures the band in full flow during long summer days. Watch the video for U&ME here.
U&ME is arguably alt-J’s most beautiful and honest song to date, unfurling gracefully, with new elements being subtly folded into the mix until a euphoric breakdown cracks through the middle. Lead vocalist Newman moves between blissful euphoria and artful restraint, telling a love story through snapshot memories, as the song channels the band’s unparalleled experimentation into a song that is underpinned with a raw sense of joy.
The track was written during various soundchecks across the globe, when the band got back to London and heard the recordings they knew it was one of their most dynamic recordings to date. Speaking on the process, Joe Newman says, “it gathered momentum on it’s own, it was best to just get out of its way. We were just there.”
U&ME was written about a day Joe Newman spent at Sun Cycle Festival in Melbourne. Elaborating on the meaning of the song, Gus Unger-Hamilton says, “it’s about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness, and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now”.
‘The Dream’ is an album where true-crime inspired stories and tales of Hollywood and the Chateau Marmont rub shoulders with some of the band’s more personal moments to-date. Both beauty and darkness lay side-by-side – often seamlessly merging on the same track, a purposeful choice that pays dividends across the record. The band’s dazzling instrumentation has matured; there are still far out moments, but now they are deployed with an artful precision.
‘The Dream’ is an album of intrigue, beauty and humanity – a coalescence of everything that has made alt-J a global band with true staying power. The album was created after a period of rest for the band following their seismic world tour in support of previous record ‘RELAXER’. It is a record that is the sound of a band growing as songwriters and storytellers.
‘The Dream’ will be available on a variety of formats across CD and vinyl, plus digital download and streaming. There is a limited-edition hardback book CD with reproductions of the notebook that Joe Newman used to write the lyrics for ‘The Dream’, with his original handwritten lyrics and drawings. There is also transparent violet vinyl, clear vinyl, 180g heavyweight black vinyl and a standard CD available.
alt-J are one of the most successful British bands of the millennium. Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green have released three studio albums that, between them, have sold in excess of two million copies with two and a half billion streams. Their 2012 Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award-winning debut ‘An Awesome Wave’ was followed two years later by their GRAMMY and BRIT Award-nominated album ‘This Is All Yours’. Released in 2017, ‘RELAXER’ flew straight into the top 10 of the Australian and UK album chart and became their second album to be nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Thanks to Liberator Music / Infectious Music / BMG