Get Better

Album: The Dream (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This poignant song starts off with vocalist Joe Newman longing for his partner in intensive care to get better. Sadly, she dies, and the track ends with his memories of a happy time the pair spent wandering through the Serpentine gallery.

    Newman also inserts a tribute to frontline workers toiling amid the horrors of the COVID pandemic.
  • "Get Better" is an amalgamation of two songs.

    The chorus is something Newman improvised in 2018 to his partner when she was suffering from period pain. She filmed him singing "Get better my Darcy, I know you can," and Newman kept revisiting the snippet intending to write more.

    The verses came from a chord structure Newman worked on in lockdown where he recounts a fictional tale about someone living through a bereavement. "The context of the coronavirus pandemic lent my words a chilling weight and gave me a new sense of responsibility as a lyricist," he said.
  • The German pixel artist Stefanie Grunwald created the animated video.
  • The song is full of vivid details such as the grieving man holding onto a jar of his late partner's favorite Nutella spread. Newman had been gathering the lyrical snippets for at least a decade. "We experience a lot of harrowing things in our lives," he told The Guardian. "They build up and you write about them in time, and you come up with ideas that fit those emotions and you put it all together."
  • Alt-J performed the song live for the first time during a December 9, 2021 gig at the Fender Artist Showroom in London. The band - minus drummer Thom Green - played their special set to demonstrate the brand new Fender Acoustasonic Player Telecaster guitar.
  • April, the wife of keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, contributes spoken vocals.

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