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Alt-J built quite a following with their Mercury Prize-winning debut album, An Awesome Wave, and seemed to be getting bigger still as of the winter when support for the LP wound down. So the move to release their sophomore LP so quickly has to be seen as a smart one — that is, as long as the material doesn’t seem rushed, costing them the momentum they built.

Now, with the second taste of their September follow-up, a song titled “Left Hand Free,” it might be safe to assume that the new Alt-J record will start where the last one left off, and with even more radio appeal. The track sounds like it could have been made with Danger Mouse, reflecting not necessarily the music we are hearing already in alternative circles, but more, exemplifying the music we have been anticipating with acts like Portugal, the Man and Cage the Elephant.

But judge for yourself. Either way, “Left Hand Free” is more straightforward than the moody “Hunger of the Pine”, and should see a lot of play while the whether is warm.



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