Everything you need to know about ALT J

By Amber Brookes​

As a self-proclaimed music hipster, I think that I listen to some cool music. Even though it’s probably not the case, I have extensive music playlists filled to the brim with the latest tunes and even some of the more vintage hits that do not necessarily get recognised. However, during my holiday this year, I came across one album that made me drop everything and just press play on repeat.

It was ‘An Awesome Wave’. From that point onwards, I was submerged in exotic sounds and some cathartic baselines coupled with melancholy melodies. SUBLIME. I would wholeheartedly recommend a listen or two.
…And the band you may ask; Alt J. Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello winning, Grammy award nominated indie rock wizards.


Even though I’m late to the Alt J game, with the album mentioned released in 2012, I was fully aware of their presence for years. You may have heard the brilliant ‘Matilda’ or possibly even ‘Hunger of the Pine’ featuring vocals of none other than Miley Cyrus. combined into one album, it made the entire experience enlightening. It was a rollercoaster of all the emotions meeting at once and thenbreaking and melding again and again into rich sounds.


This was something entirely different to the stuff I listened to before. Ironic considering the name of the band: Alt J coming from a command on a keyboard that produces a mathematic symbol that literally means change ()
That was why I had to the follow-up album ‘This Is All Yours’ (2014) and then coincidently ‘Relaxer’ (2017) was released almost simultaneously after I got sick of the first two albums, because I was playing them so much, in June of this year. It was staggering to see the way that the band had adapted and morphed their sound throughout the past years as much as their slick music videos which are just a piece of modern art in themselves. The coolest thing about them, being their website, which has been transformed into their own retro game with each area of the virtual world representing a song of their eight-track album.


To top it all off, Joe Newman, lead vocalist, guitarist and bassist was in fact a student of ‘Generation X’s Barton Peveril Sixth Form college before the band forming in Leeds university in 2007. Although, we won’t see any new music from the trio for a few years. I am exited to be able to witness what they will make next. Either way, I’m still not over ‘Relaxer’ just yet. Maybe a few more glorious plays…