The Mercury Prize-winning, chart-topping band alt-J have shared their heartfelt new track “Get Better”, the second glimpse into their forthcoming album The Dream, set for release on February 11, 2022 via Infectious Music/BMG. The band have also announced the UK & Ireland dates of their 2022 world tour.
“Get Better” is the stirring centrepiece of The Dream, and one the band’s most emotionally resonant songs to-date. alt-J peel away the dense layers of sound that they are known for, leaving lead singer Joe Newman’s vocal next to a plaintive solo guitar and harmonies from bandmate Gus Unger-Hamilton.
The single arrives alongside an equally heartbreaking animated music video, made by Hamburg-based award-winning pixel artist Stefanie Grunwald. She entered the pixel art space in 2016 and has quickly gained recognition for her detailed nighttime animations, which caught the eye of Newman and led to the collaboration.
Going deeper into the process of creating the track, Newman says, “ ‘Get Better’ is the union of two songs. The first was an improvised song I sang in 2018 to my partner who was suffering from period pain. To her I sang ‘Get better my Darcy, I know you can’. She filmed it and I kept revisiting the fragment with a plan to write more. The second was a chord structure I worked on in lockdown that focused on someone living through a bereavement. I felt a nervous heat when writing ‘Get Better’. The context of the Coronavirus pandemic lent my words a chilling weight and gave me a new sense of responsibility as a lyricist. Whilst the direct events described are fictional, I believe – or I hope – that it’s emotionally the most honest song I’ve written.”
On describing the experience of first hearing the demo, Newman’s band mate Unger-Hamilton said, “when Joe first played it to me I didn’t just get a bit tearful, I broke down. A big, big cry. A cry of the year.”
The band have also announced a prize draw to win a Larrivee P-05 guitar, the same model of guitar that Newman wrote most of The Dream on and used in the recording of ‘Get Better’, which he has inscribed with handwritten lyrics from the track. All proceeds from the draw will go to Plan International – a global children’s charity working in over 50 countries to create lasting equality for girls and protect the rights of all children. Fans can enter the prize draw here.
Speaking about the band’s support for Plan International, Newman says, “After becoming a father a friend told me about the charity Plan International. My partner and I strive for our daughter to be happy, safe, loved and reassured every moment of every day.
“To know there are countless children that don’t have the care and support from parents, communities and governments is heartbreaking. Plan International are doing incredible work throughout the world transforming children’s lives, making sure they have access to the education, health care and future opportunities they need to thrive.”
“Get Better” follows “U&ME”, which was premiered by Clara Amfo on BBC Radio 1. It was the band’s first new music since their acclaimed third album RELAXER, released in 2017. The band also shared the details of their North American leg of their 2022 world tour which will see them play at arenas across the United States and Canada in 2022. For full routing, visit: https://www.altjband.com/#tour.
Today, they announce the UK & Ireland dates of the tour, includinga date at the legendary O2 Academy Brixton as well as shows at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, Belfast’s The Telegraph Building and other venues throughout the UK. For full routing see below.
There will be an exclusive ticket presale open to fans who have preordered The Dream from the official album store. The presale will run from November 10 at 9am GMT until the general sale begins on November 12 at 9am GMT. If fans have already preordered the album from the official store they will already be eligible for the presale. General sale begins November 12, 9AM via https://www.altjband.com/#tour.
alt-J are one of the most successful British bands of the millennium. Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green have released three studio albums that, between them, have sold in excess of two million copies and their songs have been streamed over two and a half billion times. Their 2012 Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award-winning debut An Awesome Wave, was followed two years later by their number one, GRAMMY and BRIT Award-nominated album This Is All Yours. Released in 2017, RELAXER flew straight into the top 10 of the UK album chart ahead of a summer of major international shows – including a headline show at London’s O2 Arena; and headline performances at numerous festivals – and became their second album to be nominated for the Mercury Prize.
alt-J UK & Ireland tour 2022
07 May 2022 – Glasgow, Scotland – Barrowland Ballroom
09 May 2022 – Leeds, England – O2 Academy Leeds
13 May 2022 – Manchester, England – O2 Apollo
18 May 2022 – London, England – O2 Academy Brixton
22 May 2022 – Dublin, Republic of Ireland – Olympia Theatre
25 May 2022 – Belfast, Northern Ireland – The Telegraph Building
27 May 2022 – Birmingham, England – O2 Academy Birmingham