7 Artist's We Would've Loved Alt-J To Collaborate With, That Are Not Miley Cyrus
  • THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014

  • Posted by: Jason Wien

(one of these things is not like the others)

Throughout the summer, the Leed's bred sonic synth-rockers, Alt-J, have released a handful of singles in an attempt to thwart off any unruly fans that refused to wait any longer for their sophomore album, This Is All Yours. One of the singles, entitled "Hunger Of The Pine", featured a very recognizable and often naked pop star by the name of Miley Cyrus, who has found herself at the forefront of countless collaborations throughout the past year.

Needless to say, it got us all pretty excited to hear it.

Unfortunately, after extinguishing all my pre-placed doubt for the bizarre collaboration, I found myself frustrated at what I was hearing. It wasn't the same aberrant pleasantry I expected to hear from the innovative Mercury Prize winners. It wasn't the inharmoniously dissonant sound I grew to love from the first album, and as the song progressed, I found that it certainly was not (like many Alt-J songs are) one that would grow on me over time.

Instead, the track came off as a glorified hip-hop sample. It came off as something not true to the beloved dorm-room form that got them famous, but instead as a attempt at quick success through the utilization of an individual who has a larger family name but an immeasurably less amount of musical talent. In fact, as soon as the track finished I began creating this list — featuring all of the artists we would've loved to see collaborate with Alt-J that are not Miley Cyrus, and well, its finally done:

Check it out below:

7. David Byrne

David Byrne has always remained quite the enigmatic soul to me. Often I find myself listening to the extensive catalogues he put out as a solo artist and as the lead singer of the Talking Heads and I sit questioning how on God's earth a mortal man created such bizarre and yet somehow, infectious music — It's like every time "Once in A Lifetime" is played, I don't know whether I want to use my hairbrush as a microphone as I sing my heart out in front of the mirror, or sit and confront all of the choices I've made in the last decade. This, in a small way, explicates the same feelings induced when listening to Alt-J's music. Every time I listen to An Awesome Wave as a whole, the Interlude's have me drifting off into a daze, only to be jolted by the heavy sound of songs like "Tesselate" and "Bloodflood". Each melody is woven with the same polished idiosyncratic tendencies that Byrne uses to differentiate his music from all the similar-sounding garbage we hear today. And because the feelings being produced by the two artists are so similar, just the thought of the two working together would be, for lack of a better phrase, fucking epic.

6. Flaming Lips

Matilda and Yoshimi battling Pink Robots together. 'nuff said.

5. James Blake

Imagine with me if you can: a world where the soft hum of Blake's voice is whisked together with the backing assonance and colorful harmony of Alt-J's Joe Newman. The pulse of Blake's heartbeat and tinkling keyboard washed over Alt-J's swelling guitar riffs. The funny feeling of floating that Blake perfects, matched with the subtleties of Alt-J's disorganized grunge.. are you drooling yet? 'cause I sure am.

4. Sylvan Esso

The electro-pop outfit hailing from Durham North Carolina, Sylvan Esso, has produced some of the most hauntingly beautiful tracks we've had the privilege of hearing this year. Songs like "Coffee" coax a certain sleepy-eyed tendency that yank at the same heart strings as Alt-J's "MS", while pulsing lullabies like "Hey Mami" and "Could I Be" remind me of that moment in "Fitzpleasure" when the too-thick-to-cut synth kicks in and your head uncontrollably begins to nod at every click of the snare. I imagine that a collaboration between the two groups would result in some pretty hard-hitting stuff — essentially hypnotizing you into a dream and than violently shaking you awake with charmingly heavy electronica. I see no wrong here.

3. Bastille

All I'm gonna say here is that Bastille could use some of Joe Newman's bizarrely contagious vocals, and Alt-J could use some of Bastille's eyy, eyyo's — In truth, none of it is really needed, but then again, no one needed Miley to tell us she's a "female rebel" either.

2. Darkside

Darkside is the result of the cerebral DJ Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington working together to conceive some of last year's greatest dark-dance electronica. Similarly in 2012, Alt-J made an immeasurable amount of ripples across both sides of the sea with their album An Awesome Wave. Now imagine what it would sound like if the cloistered sound of Darkside was mixed with Alt-J's often destabilizing sonic rock — The result would surely be the greatest thing since ... eh, no, this would be the greatest thing ever.

1. Disclosure

Just the thought of having an Alt-J melody riddled with splices of deep-house dance by Disclosure's Howard and Guy Lawrence, makes me want to write the two groups a very long winded list of what I'd do just to jump-start the project. I'll give you a hint: number one is "fucking anything, man!"

Check out "Hunger Of The Pine" featuring Miley Cyrus below:

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