Earlier this month, Alt-J released The Dream, their first album in five years. Now, the English band’s return has been marked by an emphatic live performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the trio ran through the new track ‘U&ME’ and their old classic ‘Breezeblocks’.
For the performance of ‘U&ME’, the set was designed to display the natural world. A backing screen showed tall tufts of grass while green lights shot down green rays as if from a rainforest canopy while the group stood between yellow poles that stood as tree trunks or bamboo.
The group followed the new track with their old hit ‘Breezeblocks’, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their debut album An Awesome Wave. During ‘Breezeblocks’, the light show changed to a palette of blues, pinks and purples while the screens behind showed bars of light moving down like barcoding.
The new album has a feeling of 2000s indie to it reminiscent of In Rainbows era Radiohead. Joe Newman recently explained the writing process for ‘Philadelphia’, one of the stand-out tracks on the new album: “I had a doodle on the guitar, came up with the chorus, and I just put it to one side. It’s its own culture at that moment; it will just grow into something. I came back to it a month later, and I had it in my head. I felt like I was unconsciously writing the song”.
The Dream comes as the latest LP since 2017’s Relaxer; it features the singles ‘U&ME’ and ‘Get Better’. Alt-J are about to begin a North American tour with Portugal. The Man. The tickets for the tour are available on Ticketmaster.
Watch the brilliant live performance of ‘U&ME’ and ‘Breezeblocks’ Alt-J played on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert below.