I’m not an Alt-J stan or anything, but like most people I loved “Tessellate” and enjoyed their first album whenever I could remember to spin it on Spotify. I didn’t even know that they’d released a new single yet until the other day when I was writing about “4×4” becoming the fourth single from Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz, and discovered that Alt-J sampled it for their own new tune, “Hunger Of The Pine.”
The band have delved deeper into electronica this time ’round, which only serves to enhance their already ambient sound. On paper adding a Miley sample might seem superfluous, but it isn’t; her battle cry of “I’m a female rebel!” is appropriately defiant in the face of Joe Newman’s late night neediness. Although the song is about the emotional suffering a man experiences during the cold lonely nights after a breakup, it ends up humanizing Miley more by dragging her down from a pop princess rebelling against the world to an emotionally-distant girlfriend rebelling against her boyfriend.
Smilers also have more ammo against the Milegend haters now because we can say that Bangerz was sampled by a cool indie band, so this whole thing is just a huge win on every level.