Earlier this month, alt-J marked their return with the new song “3WW” and the announcement of their forthcoming new album, Relaxer.
Now they’re back with a hard-hitting single in the form of “In Cold Blood.” The song serves as the perfect counterbalance to the moody slow-burn of “3WW,” bursting out of the gate with angular, overdriven guitars, a menacing keyboard, and singer Joe Newman reciting binary code like some sort of indie-rock robot. That’s before things shift into a swinging groove dominated by a triumphant horn section that the band notes was recorded at Abbey Road.
In someone else’s hands, “In Cold Blood” might have made for the next EDM banger to ignite a field of festival-goers—and it’s definitely still ripe for remixing—but as an alt-J song it becomes something darker and weirder; a coiling, venomous snake of a song.
In addition to the new track, alt-J announced that they’ll be moving up the release of Relaxer a week to June 2. If “3WW” and “In Cold Blood” are any indication of what’s to come, the sooner we can get our hands on this record, the better. This is shaping up to potentially be their strongest outing yet.
Watch the visualizer for “In Cold Blood” below, and revisit “3WW” here.