If you’re already a fan of Metronomy, Bombay Bicycle Club and Django Django then it’s pretty much a cert that you are going to want to listen to Alt-J ∆. The four piece band (bassist Gwil Sainsbury, guitarist and vocalist Joe Newman, Keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton and drummer Thom Green) met at Leeds University and from the word GO they were set on creating their unique sound.
Even their name makes them different to anyone else doing this sort of thing, the symbol is created when holding down the alt key on your computer and pressing ‘J’ and in the maths world it is said to signify change. And that is exactly what their debut album “An Awesome Wave” is, a change from all the supposedly ‘alternative’ bands out there right now.
They are making a name for themselves as well, securing a support gig with Wild Beasts in April of this year and holding a small concert tour around the UK and Ireland. They’ve also been hit with festival fever, with Latitude and T in the Park already under their belt they still having Reading and Leeds and Bestival (amongst many others) to look forward to.
The album is insanely good for a debut, unsurprising when you hear they have been holed up rehearsing with each other for two years and then finally signing a deal with Infectious Records. Their sound is indescribable, they manage to connect indie rock with hip-hop thuds, folky voices with electronic swishes, all this chaos and they are still able to sing beautiful lyrics to connect with their listener.
The album eases you in with track one simply named ‘intro,’ a fitting title for four guys who seemed to have appeared from nowhere. To ease you into their sound, skip ahead a few songs onto track six ‘Something Good.’ It will give you an idea of what these guys are about, normally skipping tracks would be ridiculous but for this distinctive band it’s necessary.
There is not a single track on this album that you will want to skip, you hear elements of the aforementioned Django Django as they create sounds that you just cannot place what instrument they come from (maybe it’s not an instrument at all?) But it then changes again, the screaming woahs in the track ‘Dissolve Me’ bring it back to its folky sound, with added electronic bass.
“An Awesome Wave” is set to do exactly what it says on the tin, stir up the indie music scene, but do not just think that it is a weird and shallow debut album, the lyrics speak of yearning and pleas such as ‘Breezeblocks’ “Please don’t go/ I love you so!” Alt-J ∆ have put in the hard work and created an album that is going to played over and over again, give it a listen.