Calm Before The Storm: Britain’s Alt-J Grabs American Attention With Impressive Debut

Interesting fact: Alt-J gets their name from the Mac’s keyboard command which produces the  symbol, which is technically their name. Some of you still may not even know about Alt-J, the band, much less their unique band name. They’re an indie band from Britain whose blend of fierce instrumentation and southern tweedling has produced a critically acclaimed debut album that’s landed them a devoted fan-base, festival dates, and a solidified place in pop culture’s growing landscape.

Alt-J’s debut album An Awesome Wave was released May 25th, 2012. Since, the band has enjoyed extended praise for such a mature release from a band that is in it’s beginning stages. For me, the appeal of Alt-J lies in their various song structures. Nothing seems out of place in an Alt-J song. The band involves all sounds from the rumbling bass of “Fitzpleasure” to the light-hearted acoustic picking of “Matilda”.

Songwriting is also a standout attribute, further characterized by the incomparable singing of Joe Newman. There is something about his voice that at first seems out of place, but quickly feels right at home. It’s as if Newman is singing folk songs over instrumentals from other genres, then changing the pitch afterwards. The product is wild, and it’s something that either makes or breaks many listener’s interest in the band. However, if you’re asking me, it’s a plus.

Alt-J is currently finishing an American tour, which will be followed by European and additional US dates. Listen to their single “Fitzpleasure” below.

-JC

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