The beauty of Alt-J (well for me anyway) is that I have no idea what Joe Newman (the band’s frontman) is singing. He could be spouting out streams of random babble and I’d have no idea (Please tell I’m not alone here). But surely this can’t be a favourable attribute for a band to possess. I mean if I wanted to hear an aimless band of gobbling turkeys I’ll listen to the 1975 (although I would most likely give my ears the once over with a molten poker before volunteering to do so). The secret to Alt-J, believe it or not, is the lyrics (but didn’t I just say that i couldn’t understand them). Well I suppose it’s fair to include their well tuned musicianship in the mix too, but unlike most incomprehensible bands Alt-J’s lyrics are actually thoughtful and manage to confront cliché-fuelled themes in a less than conventional manner.
Which leads me onto this weeks song. Taro, the closing track from the band’s debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’, was (until I Googled the lyrics) just a well worked song, with some attention grabbing musical riffs and other such delights. Of course I had no idea what was going on lyrically, but it sounded good and I had managed to piece together my own interpretation of the song lyrics (which enabled me to sing along, to some extinct, whilst it took up a semi-permanent residence in my head). But, as previously mentioned, I did cop-out and seek the ‘actual’ lyrics online… and wow. Everything makes sense now and the song has increased tenfold in both stature and style. But I’m not going to bang on anymore about the song lyrics. Feel free to search for yourself (unless of course you are fluent in the language of Alt-J and can understand every word uttered by the Leeds-onian/cunian (what do you call someone from Leeds?).
And thus ends my bracket-laden rant. Listen to Taro, read the lyrics, watch the music video, follow the band on your favourite social media platform and please, please, if like me, you cannot understand what the band are singing, then be sure to let me know. Otherwise I might just have to book myself in for a hearing test or two.