Alt-J’s Music Video Hunger of the Pine is an Homage to Hunger Games


Alt-J’s Music Video Hunger of the Pine is an Homage to Hunger GamesPhoto Courtesy of mtv.com

Alt-J’s latest music video, “Hunger of the Pine” debuted today and production-wise it is one of the most impressive music videos yet this year. In terms of quality, it presents itself more like a clip from a high-budget adventure or horror movie. The song itself is the lead single off of Alt-J’s second album “This Is All Yours,” soon to be released on September 22nd by Warner Music. In an interview with NPR last month, the band said that the song’s title refers to “missing someone — pining — [which] can be a physical pain much like hunger.”
The music video features a young man tearing through a forest, being pursued by arrows flying past him. Running for his life, the guy is inevitably pierced through the chest by a deadly arrow. As he nears the edge of the forest, his gut is punctured as well, followed by his thigh, and then his shoulder, and on and on as he races through an open field, utterly exposed to the onslaught of arrows. The song features a sample from Miley Cyrus, whose warrior woman line “I’m a female rebel” from “4×4,” a track on “Bangerz“, is played throughout the track. The vibe of watching the “hunted” move inevitably closer towards death plus the subtle warrior woman lyrics brings “The Hunger Games” distinctly to mind. In the end, the pursued gets an arrow through the jugular, so he douses himself in gasoline and looks up to the sky as he is assailed by a final torrent of flaming arrows.
Joe Newman, the frontman of Alt-J, came up with the concept for the song’s video, which is actually their first U.K. single from the album “This Is All Yours.” Their first U.S. single, “Left Hand Free,” was released last week. The music video was directed by Nabil, and again, the production is outstanding; you feel as if you are viewing a montage of clips from an actual movie, assembled together to highlight a hit song from the movie soundtrack. The concept of the music video absolutely matches the painful “pining” theme of the song. Unlike many other “chase” music videos, the main character looks sincerely scared for his life, and in severe pain.
Hunger of the Pine” is available as a free download to anyone who preorders the album. “This Is All Yours” will be released on Canvasback/Infectious Music in CD, digital and double-vinyl formats on September 22nd, 2014. Alt-J will be on their North American tour starting October 14th, already having sold out a show at the Orpheum Theater in Vancouver, but they will also play L.A.’s Greek Theater on October 20th, 2014. Stayed tuned for the Encyclopedia of Music’s review of Alt-J’s upcoming sophomore album!

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