Leigh MichaelFriday,1 February 2013

The Snap:

A little over a week ago, I came across a NY Times article titled: If You Like the Moody Blues, Try Alt-J. As someone who loves the Moody Blues, I thought it was wise to follow the title’s advice.

I’m glad I did.

Alt-J, alternatively known as ∆, is a band from Leeds, England. They got their name from the magic that happens when you press the “alt” and the “j” button on your keyboard simultaneously (who knew?!). Comprised of four members, the band has a diehard following in the UK and Australia.

Last November, ∆ won the Mercury Prize for their debut album, An Awesome Wave. Since then, they’ve slowly been picking up steam, winning over a hefty number of fans in the USA. And their popularity just keeps growing.

The Download:

There are a lot of things I really like about Alt-J… but just for fun, let’s start about the things I don’t like about them. One thing really.

This: ∆.

Now, I know that the world houses a bevy of artists and bands — and I’m sure it’s getting increasingly difficult to find names that really stand out (ahem. Case in point.) But every time I see that tidy little triangle, I am reminded of the fact that when I first heard of them, I wrote them off as yet another crappy band that was just trying to hard to be different.

Which is, frankly, bullshit.

This band rocks. They’re quiet — soothing almost — with this awesome rock-n’-roll undertone that sneaks into all of their songs. ∆ is the sort of band that gets under your skin (I can’t tell you how many times I have unconsciously hit “repeat” whenever I listen to ”Something Good”).

So, if you haven’t already heard these guys, trust me. Alt-J (or, to be really alternative, ∆) are worth a listen. In honor of a weekend that is — hopefully — free of all things work-related, here’s some homework that you can attend to over the next few days. Trust me – it’s gonna be fun.

1. Hop on over to SoundCloud and listen away. “Taro” and “Breezeblocks” are not to be missed.

2. Watch Alt-J’s Tiny Deck Concert over at NPR and observe how chill/low key/restrained they are while playing. Few smiles are cracked. It’s all business over there.

3. Watch the strange and completely mesmerizing music video for “Fitzpleasure.”

Hat Tips:

SoundCloud, NPR, New York Times, Image Credit: Flickr

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