Alt-J: 'Every Other Freckle' Single Review

Alt-J: ‘Every Other Freckle’ Single Review

Alt-J’s latest album This Is All Yours has been a winding journey thus far. Each single has strayed away from the sounds of their first album. The first single “Hunger of the Pine” was a Miley Cyrus-sampling, slow-building, sonic adventure, and was quickly followed by “Left Hand Free,” a sharp twist towards some type of Americana rock that Alt-J’s members have joked is a a “pileup of American cliches” recorded in part to appease the band’s American label.

“Every Other Freckle” is the song that seems the most straightforward thus far. It brings back the vocal harmonies, finicky guitar work and thick bass that defined the band’s style on An Awesome Wave. This one diverges from Alt’J’s older singles with heavier distortion and a grittier flavor than the crystal-clear production on An Awesome Wave. Something about “Every Other Freckle feels a little bit dirtier, a little more under your skin than the previous singles. Perhaps its lyrics: the howling hook of “devour me” or the line “I want to share your mouthful/ I want to do the things your lungs do so well.” The song carries some the the pushy elements of “Fitzpleasure” and “Breezeblocks.” Joe Newman’s vocals swing between a soft, near-whisper level, in the song’s opening to a drawling shout to a lover near the halfway point. Just like their previous work, Alt’J makes their music very difficult to classify (and this is probably a good thing) by twisting indie rock into a new form, this time incorporating some industrial electronic sound.

Overall, the track showcases what Alt-J is best at. It could definitely do without the repetitive “hey!” shouts in the background, which was an over-done feature as soon as The Lumineers’ “Ho-Hey” blew up in 2012. PPcorn is always interested in seeing where Alt-J is headed next. It’s difficult not to compare every song the band’s released so far to their phenomenal debut album, but so far it seems like they’ve taken quite a few deliberate steps away from the sounds of An Awesome Wave to counteract this.

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