This British ‘Art-Rock’ quartet has been making awesome waves over the past two years. Here are five essential facts you need to know about Alt-J. Check out the playlist below…
1. The name “Alt-J” is an allusion to the Greek uppercase letter delta (∆) which can be typed on Apple Mac OS X by the key sequence alt (option) + J. “Alt-J” were formerly known as both ‘Daljit Dhaliwal’ and ‘Films’. According to Gwil(guitar/bassist), “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change.”
2. Their aptly titled début album ‘An Awesome Wave’ won the British Mercury Prize in 2012, just for being awesome.
3. This is a very booky band. Gus studied English Literature, the three other members(Joe, Gwill and Thom) studied Fine Art. This is reflected by an insane amount of references to books in their songs. The love song turned murder ballad Breezeblocks quotes Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are; Matilda is named after Natalie Portman’s character in the film Leon; Fitzpleasure was inspired by the prostitute Tralala in Hubert Selby Jr’s novel Last Exit to Brooklyn.
4. The band have a unique view on illegal downloading. Keyboard player Gus told the BBC: ‘You see your album as a calling card. Hopefully people will torrent the album but then come to the show. You can survive as a band even in the age of pirating.’
5. Keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton’s brother runs Polydor Records – a handy contact if you’re on the music scene!
ALT-J TOP TRACK
ALT-J PLAYLIST (Click play, then the small ‘playlist’ button on bottom right-hand corner of window to unleash the playlist)