Alt-J’s fourth studio album, The Dream, is coming out this Friday, 11th February. In anticipation of its release, the band have shared the album’s fourth single, ‘The Actor’.
The song’s refrain features the lyrics, “Why do I keep on returning to you? Cocaine, cocaine,” which paints a picture of the song’s thematic orientation.
In a statement, the band set the scene: “Hollywood, 1982. Another hopeful young movie star arrives in search of ‘The Dream’. What follows is a tale of desperation, drugs and death in LA’s most famous hotel.”
The hotel in question is the Chateau Marmont, located on Sunset Blvd and known as a popular place of residence among celebrities. It’s where actor and comedian John Belushi died in 1982. In reference to the incident, ‘The Actor’ includes the lines, “Click and stumble at the Chateau / Later, I hear John’s body got carried out.”
‘The Actor’ follows alt-J’s previous singles ‘U&Me’, ‘Get Better’ and ‘Hard Drive Gold’. ‘U&Me’ came in at number 95 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2021. The band’s 2012 single ‘Breezeblocks’ was voted #3 in the 2012 countdown; ‘Breezeblocks’ also made an appearance in triple j’s Hottest 100 of the Decade (2010s), reaching number 12.
The Dream is Alt-J’s fourth album and their first since 2017’s Relaxer.