First Listen Live: Alt-J, 'This Is All Yours' Watch alt-J perform songs from its as-yet-unreleased new album, This Is All Yours in the band's first concert without departed bassist/guitarist Gwil Sainsbury.

Front Row

First Listen Live: Alt-J, 'This Is All Yours'WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Nothing was ordinary about this alt-J show — not that anything is ever ordinary from the artful British band.

But on Tuesday night at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, alt-J would play its first concert in eight months: its first without departed friend and bassist/guitarist Gwil Sainsbury, its first with touring member Cameron Knight, and its first playing songs from the upcoming album This Is All Yours.

The new songs have all the power of the old ones, flush with textured sounds from Gus Unger-Hamilton's electronic horns, steel drums, voices, and dense washes of grit. Lyrically, the new songs are equal parts creepy, lovely, puzzling, and expressive. In that expression is precision; you can see it in drummer Thom Green (watch his left hand) and you can hear it in the guitar dynamics and vocal phrasing of Joe Newman. This isn't a band of pyrotechnic wizards, but alt-J's technical prowess helped make this performance a deep pleasure on an extraordinary evening.

Set List

  • "Hunger Of The Pine"
  • "Fitzpleasure"
  • "Something Good"
  • "Left Hand Free"
  • "Dissolve Me"
  • "Matilda"
  • "Bloodflood Pt. 2"
  • "Tessellate"
  • "Every Other Freckle"
  • "Taro"
  • "Warm Foothills"
  • "The Gospel Of John Hurt"
  • "Nara/Leaving Nara"
  • "Breezeblocks"

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Otis Hart; Event Producer: Saidah Blount; Hosts: Bob Boilen, Russ Borris; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Colin Marshall, Maia Stern, A.J. Wilhelm; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Additional Editing: Colin Marshall; Special Thanks: (Le) Poisson Rouge; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Alejandro Escovedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 16, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Alejandro Escovedo

The veteran rocker and a backup band from Italy play songs from their album The Crossing, chronicling an American Dream of rock and roll and Beat poetry.

Meg Myers performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 5, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Meg Myers

Myers replaces her album's roaring electric guitars and electronics with a pulsing string quartet, piano and brushed drums — and uncorks a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."

Aaron Lee Tasjan performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan arrived in an ascot and mustard-colored shirt, sporting red, round sunglasses and mutton chops. It was a fashionable nod to the psych-pop and rock sound he brought to the Tiny Desk.

Pedro the Lion performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 13, 2018 (Claire harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Pedro The Lion

No matter how dark or disastrous, there's always been an undercurrent of grace to the music of David Bazan. He returns to his Pedro the Lion moniker for this memorable Tiny Desk performance.

Back To Top