WITH a video almost too disturbing to watch, Alt-J's Breezeblocks captured a new sound - dark, grinding and longing.
It's quite the opposite from the "la, la, la" opening track Intro on their latest album This Is All Yours. Intro sounds lost without a film.
Drummer Thom Green, who did the artwork for album cover, explained that Intro is indeed part cinematic score.
"A lot of it came from a soundtrack we were making for an English film about asylum seekers," he said.
When quizzed on the overall softness of This Is All Yours, Green said the band were very relaxed at the time of recording.
The band, comprised of Green, 28, on drums, Joe Newman, 27, on guitar and lead vocals, and Gus Unger-Hamilton, 24, on keyboards and vocals, formed at university in Leeds with Gwil Sainsbury.
"Joe's the first person I met on the first day of uni. We were the first people there for the first lecture," Green said.
Although Unger-Hamilton is the English lit student, it's Newman who writes the lyrics.
With such gems as "I want to … turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet", they are certainly capturing people's imaginations.
When your girlfriend's father is in the audience, this can get awkward.
"We played the other day. Joe's girlfriend is from Melbourne and her family were there and he realised what he was singing," Green said.
The tracks Left Hand Free and Hunger of the Pine deliver the quintessential Alt-J, which will no doubt please fans as they headline the Falls Festival in Byron Bay in December.
Is the rock-star lifestyle everything Green thought it would be?
"I don't really know what I thought it would be. It's definitely different to what people think. It's incredible and I'm extremely privileged … Moving place to place is a bit much and physically it's quite hard. Playing the drums every day, it's like going to the gym every night - it's quite hard."
Alt J will perform at this year's Byron Bay Falls Festival.
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