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Alt-J pay tribute to frontline workers on ‘Get Better’ and announce 2022 tour

The band will head on tour in May 2022 to support their fourth album

By Emma Kelly

Alt-J press shot, 2021
'Hard Drive Gold' follows 'Get Better' and 'U&ME'. (Photo: Rosie Matheson)

Alt-J have shared a new song called ‘Get Better’, which is dedicated to the frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The track is the second single from the band’s upcoming fourth album ‘The Dream’ following the September release of ‘U&Me’.

On the song, frontman Joe Newman sings about wishing a loved one in ICU will get better, with the lyrics: “Get better my darling, I know you will” and “I still pretend you’re only out of sight/ In another room, smiling at your phone”.

The lyrics also support the staff of the hospital, singing: “I’ll start the day with tiramisu/ Raise a spoon to frontline workers/ An underfunded principle/ They risk all to be there for us.”

Newman said of the song: “‘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.”

Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton added in the press release: “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 song is accompanied by an animated video from award-winning pixel artist Stefanie Grunwald, with the song’s narrator reflecting back on his early days with his girlfriend at the Serpentine in London and spending time in the house alone as she remains in hospital.

‘The Dream’ is set for release on February 11, 2022.

Alt-J have also announced that the album will be supported by a UK and Ireland tour in May 2022.

Alongside their North America dates earlier in the year, the ‘Tesselate’ stars will kick off The Dream Tour in Glasgow on May 7, and play Leeds, Manchester, London, Dublin and Belfast before wrapping up in Birmingham on May 27.

Tickets for the tour will be available in an exclusive pre-sale for fans who have pre-ordered ‘The Dream’ from the official album store from 9am on November 10, with the general sale beginning at 9am on November 12. You can find tickets and more info here.

The Dream tour dates May 2022

7 – Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
9 – Leeds, O2 Academy
13 – Manchester, O2 Apollo
18 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
22 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre
25 – Belfast, The Telegraph Building
27 – Birmingham, O2 Academy