Britain’s favourite band of experimental indie-rockers, Alt-J, have returned with the final preview of their upcoming fourth studio album The Dream with the new single ‘The Actor’.
This is how the band set the stage for the new track: “Hollywood, 1982. Another hopeful young movie star arrives in search of The Dream. What follows is a tale of desperation, drugs and death in LA’s most famous hotel. It’s ‘The Actor’.” A nice light bit of subject matter to focus on from the boys in Alt-J.
Vivid in its imagery and slightly unsettling in its central focus, ‘The Actor’ is nonetheless a solid and eminently catchy cut from Alt-J, who seem to have honed in on all of their best features for The Dream. The catchiest of melodies can co-exist with the most lurid of lyrics and the most wonky production additions that the group can fit into four minutes.
It isn’t quite at the level of their previous single, ‘Hard Drive Gold’, but that song was one of Alt-J’s best, so it’s a high bar to clear. Instead, the group throw one last teaser out to show why even the most casual of fans should be excited about The Dream. Each new track sounds fresh and distinct from the one before it, and unlike most bands, Alt-J actually seems conformable with setting into a signature sound.
That’s a plus, considering how willing they’ve been to mess with their trippy grooves and pulsating rhythms over the years. For a while it seemed like the band were uncomfortable with how good they were as melody writers, obscuring some of their best in walls of noise and effects. Now, a little older and a little wiser, Alt-J seem ready to embrace their best qualities.
Listen to the audio of ‘The Actor’ down below. The Dream is set to drop this Friday, February 11th.