As Alt-J gear up for the June 2nd release of their third studio album, Relaxer, they’ve released a handful of new songs (“3WW” and “In Cold Blood”) and announced a wide-ranging world tour. After recently receiving an assist from The Roots during an appearance on The Tonight Show, the British group stopped by NPR for their second Tiny Desk Concert and a different sort of collaboration.
As Tiny Desk booker Bob Boilen explains, he has a self-imposed rule for returning artists. They can only come back if there’s something “wholly different about what they’re doing [this time].” In Alt-J’s case, their 2012 appearance was pretty straightforward, but Boilen still wanted to find a way to flip the new performance on its head. Eventually, he and the band came up with the idea of bringing in a string section made up of a cellist and two violinist.
Judging by the results, it turns out they made a wise choice. The band played their two newest tracks as well as “Taro” from 2012’s An Awesome Wave and “Warm Foothills” off 2014’s This Is All Yours. Watch the full concert below.
In Cold Blood