“U&ME” by alt-J

The lyrics of “U&ME” are for the most part metaphorical, but there are literal lines dropped here and there also which grants the listener a clearer picture of what’s going down. For instance, in the second verse, we have the line “sending videos to friends in London”. 

And at the opening of the song as well as in the third, the vocalist depicts himself as ‘having fun (during) summer holiday’. And of course there is the outro, which we will get to later. For the record, according to Gus Unger-Hamilton what this song is actually about is “being at a festival with your best friends”, you know, enjoying yourselves to the point whereas said experience basically becomes one of the most-joyfully memorable days of your life.

More specifically, it is based on a trip that his bandmate, Joe Newman, made to the Sun Cycle Festival, an event held in Melbourne, with his significant other. This would have been either in 2020 or 2021, when the festival was held in the Coburg Velodrome. And why? Because in his own description of the song, Newman references said venue as well as the fact that “two-thirds” of the song is about this experience.

Moreover, apparently intoxication was part of the equation also, so much so that they are also referenced in the song – most pointedly, according to Joe, during the third verse. However, he also noted in that regard that he exaggerated things quite a bit.

Outro of “U&ME”

And even though certain lines may read like head scratchers at first, by the time the outro rolls around the true meaning of the song is solidified. And that is all of the lyrics beforehand representing, as noted earlier, a day that the singer can always think back to and smile. 

Moreover, considering the fact that the chorus consists solely of the line “it’s just you and me now” being repeated, as well as bearing in mind the title, then we also know that this day was made so largely due to the fact that the vocalist spent it with someone(s) he actually knows and loves as opposed to, say people he met along the way.

Lyrics to "U&ME" by alt-J
alt-J's Gus Unger-Hamilton discuses "U&ME"

Facts about “U&ME”

“U&ME”, being officially released on 22 September 2021, is actually the first official single Alt-J put out in 2021. It actually is their first single in over three years, since those derived from their 2017 album Relaxer.

The music video to this track was directed by the brother of Augustus Unger-Hamilton, Alt-J’s keyboardist. And his bandmates, since the formation of the group actually, are vocalist/guitarist Joe Newman and drummer Thomas Stuart Green. However, despite being together since the mid-aughts, according to Triple J (the Australian media organization), this “video is the first where all three members of the band appear together”. And for the record, Alt-J originated from a part of the UK known as Leeds.

The three aforementioned bandmates are credited as the writers of this song. And its producer is Charlie Andrew.

This is the lead single from Alt-J’s fourth studio album, The Dream. Their first two studio projects are entitled An Awesome Wave (2012) and This Is All Yours (2014). The debut has proven the band’s most-successful commercial project to date. The sophomore, on the other hand, was more of a critical success. It topped the UK Albums Chart and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This song was first forthrightly teased (i.e. by name) by Alt-J in mid-September, 2021.

The labels behind this track are Canvasback Music and Infectious Records. The former is a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. The latter label is under BMG.

U&ME by alt-J

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