Hunger of the Pine

"Hunger of the Pine"
Single by alt-J
from the album This Is All Yours
Released 19 June 2014
Format Digital download
Recorded 2014
Genre Indie rock
Length 4:59
Label Infectious
Writer(s) Joe Newman, Thom Green, Gus Unger-Hamilton
Producer(s) Charlie Andrew
alt-J singles chronology
"Dissolve Me"
"Hunger of the Pine"
"Left Hand Free"

"Hunger of the Pine" is a song by English indie rock band alt-J. It was released as the lead single from the band's second studio album This Is All Yours on 19 June 2014.[1]

Background and composition

"Hunger of the Pine" featured a sample of Miley Cyrus' song "4x4".

"Hunger of the Pine" was one of several songs written by Alt-J following bassist J Sainsbury's departure from the band in January 2014.[2] It samples the words "I'm a female rebel" from American recording artist Miley Cyrus's 2013 song "4x4". Thom Green, the band's drummer, had produced a remix of "4x4" for Cyrus, and incorporated the vocal sample into the song; according to lead singer Joe Newman, Cyrus was "cool" with the band using the sample and "has been really supportive of us, and she's a fan, I think, which is really nice."[3] Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton stated that the sample "sounded cool with what Joe was playing on the guitar."[3]

Unger-Hamilton further explained to NPR the meaning of the song: "The lyrics mainly suggest the idea that missing someone – pining – can be a physical pain much like hunger.[4]


On June 13, 2014, alt-J posted a video on their Instagram account featuring a clip of "Hunger of the Pine".[5] On June 18, the single premiered on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and was made available for streaming. It was released to the iTunes Store the following day.[6]

Music video

The music video for "Hunger of the Pine" was released on YouTube on 16 July 2014, three days prior to the single's release. The video, directed by Nabil Elderkin, graphically depicts a man (played by professional freerunner Ashley "Spider" Holland) getting shot by arrows as he runs through a forest.[7][8] At the end of the video, the man drenches himself with gasoline, and is set on fire off-screen by flaming arrows.


Chart (2014) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[9] 71
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 8
France (SNEP)[11] 147
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 59
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[13] 4
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[14] 20
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[15] 40

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Italy[16] 19 June 2014 Contemporary hit radio Spin-Go!
United Kingdom[1] Digital download Infectious Records
United States[17] Canvasback Music, Atlantic Records


  1. 1 2 "Hunger Of The Pine: alt-J". Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  2. "Alt-J sample Miley Cyrus on new single 'Hunger Of The Pine'". NME. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Alt-J say Miley Cyrus sample adds 'unexpected element' to comeback single". NME. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  4. Boilen, Bob (18 June 2014). "Song Premiere: alt-J, 'Hunger Of The Pine'". NPR. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. Alt-J (13 June 2014). "unrealaltj on Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  6. Gibsone, Harriet (19 June 2014). "Listen to Alt-J: Hunger of the Pine – premiere". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. Alt-J (16 July 2014). "alt-J – Hunger Of The Pine (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  8. Pitts, James (17 July 2013). "Aerial filming with our octocopter on alt-J's music video for their new single Hunger Of The Pine". Pegasus Aerial Imaging. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  9. "The ARIA Report: Issue 1271" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. 7 July 2014. p. 4. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  10. " – alt-J – Hunger of the Pine" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  11. " – alt-J – Hunger of the Pine" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  12. "Alt-J: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  13. "Archive Chart: 2014-09-27" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  14. "alt-J – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for alt-J. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  15. "alt-J – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for alt-J. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  16. "ALT-J – Hunger of the pine (Spin-Go!)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  17. "Hunger Of The Pine by alt-J". United States: 7digital. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
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