New Music Tuesday: Alt-J and Vance Joy

Okay, I know i tried this like eight months ago to no avail, but i'm serious this time! I want to get better about doing "New Music Tuesdays" every weekboth here and Ultra5280. Sometimes they might end up being the same thing (sue me, I write for two blogs, I can use the same copy on both if I want to), but regardless, I do what I do first and foremost because I love music, and chances are you read my blog because you do too! Time for me to get real and hopefully help you find some new jams for you week-to-week shenanigans. This week i'm talking about Alt-J's brand spankin' new album This Is All Yours, and radio darling's Vance Joy's full-length premiere.


ALT-J, This Is All Yours

If you're a friend of mine, I'm sorry, but I'm about to tirade once again about how much I love this band. Some people have been referring to them as "the new Radiohead", and while I understand the comparison, I hope that this new album really continues to showcase this band as a group fully capable of being something new in a time when music has been repetitious and an homage to every other era except this one. Alt-J's debut album An Awesome Wave hit me like nothing i've experienced before. New, dramatic, instrumental, and almost sharp with distinct sounds, the band was simply different. To say I got hooked was an understatement, so when the band finally began releasing the singles prior to this album's release this month, I was eating them up. The thing I immediately enjoyed about the new album was that it was in no way related to their previous work. Songs like "Left Hand Free" made me think of The Beatles before it made me think of Alt-J, and tracks like "Every Other Freckle" used familiar strengths of the band in ways we hadn't seen before. Although lead singer Joe Newman's lyrics still make absolutely NO sense whatsoever, the band's harmonies are as perfect as ever. Experimenting with samples, duets, and some funkier bass patterns than ever before (if you can believe that), This Is All Yours was an album who's release I HIGHLY anticipated, and it did not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and do whatever you need to do, but listen to the whole thing 1 time through completely before you say a thing. It doesn't flow the way An Awesome Wave does, but it still tells a story with listening to front to back. 

Vance Joy, Dream Your Life Away

I haven't given this album the time it deserves in my life yet, but upon first listen, the band who's song "Riptide" has taken Top 40 radio by storm seems to have more in store for us than just a catchy single. A singer songwriter at his core, vocalist James Keogh's sound is filled out nicely by an accompanying band. Great melodies, beautiful harmonies, and well timed lines, this album caught me by surprised. I thought that I'd be bored by someone who was "just another folk guy", but the second track of the album, "Mess is Mine" absolutely blew my brain. Songs like "Geogria" and "All I Ever Wanted" take unique perspectives on common themes that many can't seem to find new ways to write about. Not to mention the guys voice...Keogh's voice is just so different you have pay attention, no way to let your mind wander throughout a song or you'll find yourself completely lost. A wonderful pairing for a nice fall day or a quiet night in, Vance Joy's album has some little gems that make me smile. The band is coming to Denver in November, and I fully intend to see how the music translates in a live setting.