Alt-J in session at the BBC‘s Maida Vale Studios from May of this year. For a band together less than five years, Alt-J have covered a lot of ground, have garnished an enormous amount of publicity and grabbed an astonishing number of awards and accolades for their work so far.
With three albums to their credit, all of which have either won Brit Awards, Mercury Prizes, Grammies, Album of the Year from various radio outlets and publications. All in all, pretty good for a band around since 2012. They have toured worldwide, including extensive U.S. tours since 2013 – they have been regulars at most every major Summer Festival in Europe and have no intentions of stopping.
Their low-key, somewhat subdued approach is no accident – going back to their early student days, the band were forced to practice with no bass or bass drum – playing everything as muffled as possible to stay under the noise radar of the College dorm. But in doing that, it became a style and a signature of the band – this quiet, almost hypnotic delivery has become their benchmark sound and it has brought them a huge fanbase – one that continues to grow over the years.
For the most part, Alt-J embrace all that is alternative and indie about Rock in this current era, and it also draws that criticism that rock has gone so far from its roots that it bears little resemblance to what it once was. But that’s a matter of perspective – and bands like Alt-J, who make their impressions in subtle ways offer a definite alternative to the three-chord wonders we’ve become so familiar with.
The thing is; Popular Music supports a large enough tent to be able to encompass a vast horizon of styles and genres – each having its own valid points and each having its message. Choosing to keep your mind open and your tastes fluid, you can find a lot that is inspiring and valuable. Alt-J fill a comfortable and very compatible niche in our musical lexicon.
Click on the player and check it out for yourself.