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What's going on with Alt-J's third album?

Alt-J‘s second album, ‘This Is All Yours’, was released in September 2014, and in the two years since the band has headlined Latitude and played a UK arena tour. Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton has opened a café in east London, drummer Thom Sonny Green has released a solo electronic album, and singer Joe Newman has featured on a Clams Casino track with Lil B. Now, finally, Alt-J have confirmed that their new album ‘Relaxer’ will be released in June.

What can we expect from the new Alt-J album?

“There’s been a lot of ideas,” drummer Thom Sonny Green told NME in August 2016. “We’re very excited about it, I think it’s going to be pretty interesting. I feel like it’ll be different, but I don’t know. It’s funny – we write together so well and it comes pretty naturally and pretty quick, but I can’t predict it. We write what we feel.”

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Now that we’ve clarified things (a tiny bit), let’s look back at what keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton said in August 2015. He said they were “feeling excited” about recording again, but explained why the band would take a bit of a break before album three thus: “We just want to have no pressure on us to produce something and do it as and when it feels right really.” They took a break that started in January but have since discussed the next record, says Green. “We’re meeting up at the moment to talk about the next album. I mean, we never stopped thinking about it, we just needed a break. Alt-J is by no means over.”

Have we heard any new Alt-J songs yet?

Yes: the first track is called ‘3WW’, and it was released on March 6, 2017. Notable things: it features vocals from Wolf Alice‘s Ellie Rowsell, and is opened by singing from Gus Unger-Hamilton – not Joe Newman as normal, though Joe does join in later.

According to a newsletter they sent out to fans, the track “traces the adventures of a wayward lad on England’s northeast coast, culminating in the whispering of three worn words. Let’s not beat around the bush – we think it could be the best thing we’ve done to date.”

When is Alt-J’s new album released?

9 June, 2017

That’s just three months to wait…

What else do we know about ‘Relaxer’?

It was recorded with Alt-J’s longtime producer Charlie Andrew at studios all over London – Brixton, St John’s Wood, Crouch Hill and Shoreditch. They shot a few Instagram snaps of Abbey Road, which you can see below:

Great day

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Strings

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…and brass

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Here are some more studio snaps from November:

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Bassist

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Are Alt-J touring in 2017?

Yes. Their first is at London’s O2, celebrating the venue’s 10th anniversary. They’ve also been announced for loads of 2017 festivals. Between June and September they’ll headline festivals including Zagreb’s INmusic, New York’s Panorama, and Stockholm’s Popaganda, among others. See the full list below:

June 16: The O2, London, UK
June 19-21:
INmusic Festival, Zagreb, Croatia
June 23-25: Southside Festival, Tuttlingen, Germany
June 23-25: Hurricane Festival, Scheessel, Germany
June 28: Ferrara Sotto Le Stelle Festival, Ferrara, Italy
June 29-July 2: Rock Werchter, Rotselaar, Belgium
June 29-July 2: OpenAir 2017, St. Gallen, Switzerland
July 6-8: Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain
July 6-8: NOS Alive, Algés, Portugal
July 6-8: Pohoda Festival, Trencin, Slovakia
July 7-9: Bluedot Festival, Macclesfield, UK
July 12-17: Electric Castle Festival, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
July 14-16: Positivus 2017, Salacgriva, Latvia
July 19-22: Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
July 20-22: Out of the Woods Festival, Wiesen, Austria
July 22-23: Lollapalooza Paris, Paris, France
July 28-30: Panorama Festival, New York, USA
August 4-5: Hinterland Festival, Iowa, USA
August 9-13: Boardmasters Festival, Newquay, UK
August 9-16: Sziget Festival, Budapest, Hungary
August 17-19: Pstereo Festival, Trondheim, Norway
August 18-20: Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
August 30: Stadium Live Club, Moscow, Russia
Augsut 31: A2, St. Petersburg, Russia
September 1-2: Popaganda, Stockholm, Sweden

We’ll keep this page updated, so keep an eye out for new developments coming in.