July 31, 2012
If you follow any music websites, you’ve probably heard of Alt-J (∆), likely in the comments section from one of the band’s enthusiastic fans who sing their praises every chance they get. I covered their great “Breezeblocks” video over at Seen Your Video, but it wasn’t until recently that I heard the UK alt-pop band’s debut album. I’ll admit what sold me at first was the fact that their single “Matilda” is named after Natalie Portman’s iconic character from Léon: The Professional, but after a few good listens I now count myself among the Alt-J faithful.
Their debut album An Awesome Wave spans multiple genres and influences and it’s experimental tendencies has garnered comparisons to Radiohead and TV on the Radio. Guitarist / singer Joe Newman is certainly one of the most interesting vocalists I’ve heard in some time, his peculiar, hushed falsetto is one of the unique highlights of the album. The whimsical, scatterbrained instrumentation is beautifully arranged to give the music an intelligent, avant-garde feel, while being centered in melody pop enough to remain accessible and catchy. It’s a fantastic balancing act and the band pulls it off with incredible ease.
Listen to all of An Awesome Wave at Alt-J’s Soundcloud.