NEWS: alt-J Launch U&ME, The First Single From Their Forthcoming Fourth Album, The Dream
The Mercury Prize-winning, multiple GRAMMY, and BRIT Award-nominated alt-J have announced their eagerly awaited fourth album, THE DREAM, set for release on 11 February via Infectious Music / BMG. The band’s revelatory new single U&ME is out now and accompanied by a music video, the first video to ever feature the full band. U&ME is produced by long-time collaborator Charlie Andrew and is the band’s first new music 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.
Pre-order / Pre-save THE DREAM: https://alt-j.lnk.to/thedreamPR
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 album will be available on CD and 180g vinyl as well as various limited colour vinyl formats. There will also be a limited-edition hardback book CD that reproduces the notebook Joe Newman used to write THE DREAM featuring his original handwritten lyrics and drawings. The official artist store also includes merchandise bundles with signed print and exclusive cassette and vinyl formats.
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 with the sound of a band growing as songwriters and storytellers.
U&ME is a case in point; it is arguably the band’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, and when the band got back to London and heard the recordings, they knew it was one of their most dynamic songs to date. Speaking on the process, Joe Newman says, “It gathered momentum on its own, it was best to just get out of its way; we were just there”.
Elaborating on the meaning of U&ME, Gus Unger-Hamilton adds, “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”.
Alongside this the band have announced the first leg of their world tour with their most extensive run of North American dates, which will see them play at arenas across the United States and Canada in 2022. For full routing, see below.
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, collectively, have sold more than two million copies and their songs have been streamed over two and a half billion times. Their 2012 Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award-winning debut AN AWESOME WAVE was followed two years later by their number one, GRAMMY and BRIT Award-nominated album THIS IS ALL YOURS. In 2017, RELAXER reached the UK album chart Top 10, ahead of a summer of major international shows that included a show at London’s O2 Arena and headline performances at numerous festivals and became their second album to be nominated for the Mercury Prize.