14 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Members of the UK-based band met while attending university and there’s a literate slant to their artful music. “Dissolve Me” is a folk-tinged piece of electronic beauty featured on the group’s full-length debut and our Edtiors' Choice, An Awesome Wave. The band's ethereal melodies, rumbling bass lines, and stuttering drums form a gorgeous sonic bed that’s like a hybrid of Caribou and Tune-Yards. Numbered interludes interspersed throughout the album offer gentle, lullaby-like moments, spotlighting Joe Newman’s vocal acrobatics. Tracks like "Fitzpleasure" throw in big, organic beats and noir-ish surf guitar riffs. For all its stylistic diversions, An Awesome Wave is a cohesive mix of melody, rhythm and invention.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Members of the UK-based band met while attending university and there’s a literate slant to their artful music. “Dissolve Me” is a folk-tinged piece of electronic beauty featured on the group’s full-length debut and our Edtiors' Choice, An Awesome Wave. The band's ethereal melodies, rumbling bass lines, and stuttering drums form a gorgeous sonic bed that’s like a hybrid of Caribou and Tune-Yards. Numbered interludes interspersed throughout the album offer gentle, lullaby-like moments, spotlighting Joe Newman’s vocal acrobatics. Tracks like "Fitzpleasure" throw in big, organic beats and noir-ish surf guitar riffs. For all its stylistic diversions, An Awesome Wave is a cohesive mix of melody, rhythm and invention.

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About alt-J

English indie rockers Alt-J, named for the delta symbol that appears when pressing "Alt" and "J" on a Mac keyboard, first formed in 2008 under the moniker FILMS. The quartet members, all of whom met at Leeds University, spent two years rehearsing before inking a deal with Infectious Records in 2011. Their signature blend of layered, folk-inflected dub-pop and soaring alternative rock was first heard on the 2012 singles "Matilda" and "Fitzpleasure," with the group's full-length studio debut, An Awesome Wave, arriving later that year. The album would eventually go on to earn the prestigious Mercury Prize, alongside three Brit Award nominations. They soon became mainstays on the U.K. and European festival circuit, expanding outward with tours in the U.S. and Australia as well. The band's increasing success and heavy touring schedule eventually led to the amicable departure of bassist Gwil Sainsbury at the end of 2013. The remaining trio of singer/guitarist Joe Newman, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, and drummer Thom Green continued undeterred, and their sophomore record, This Is All Yours, was issued in the autumn of 2014. Critically well-received, This Is All Yours debuted at number one in the U.K. and fared similarly well in Europe and the U.S., where they earned their first Grammy nomination. In early 2017, Alt-J issued a trio of singles, "3WW," "In Cold Blood," and "Adeline," in anticipation of the release of their third studio long-player, Relaxer, which dropped later that June. ~ Timothy Monger

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