Fans can certainly forgive alt-J for their year of silence.
Their unusual, mesmerising sound and thoughtfully crafted lyrics can only be the product of time immersed in writing, thinking and playing.
The new single was worth the wait. After a minute and a half of gentle and steady instrumental build-up, the vocals finally cut through and continue to build.
alt-J are perhaps best known for their ability to express powerful emotion through obscure and often bizarre metaphors. ‘3ww’ is about love, likening the rituals of romance to the breast of Juliet’s statue in Verona, worn away by the “rubbing hands of tourists”.
The lyricist is not against romance however, simply the overused “three worn words” – he declares, “I just want to love you in my own language”. ‘3ww’ also features Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell, whose fiery vocals depict love as “a button we press”.
The new album Relaxer is promised for release on 9 June.