featured artist | Alt-J



Photo Courtesy of Abby Gillardi

Today’s featured artist is , pronounced Alt-J. An indie, alternative, pop/rock, electro-folk, (at times a capella) British band, with tight lyrics, memorable guitar riffs, and emphasis on the keyboard, is taking the U.S. by storm. With a tour that is currently crisscrossing from Boston to San Francisco before the tour takes them back to the UK, this week, they will be playing twice at the Fillmore before they hit up Coachella Weekend 1 this Friday. If you’re going to Coachella, be sure to look for them — they are one of the bands to watch for, even MTV says so.

The U.K. outfit formed in 2007 while the four band mates were in college at Leeds University in England.

Current guitar/vocalist Joe Newman approached friends Gwil Sainsbury (guitarist/bassist), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums) with songs he had written, and the band had its start, first producing songs on GarageBand. Since they lived in student dorms, they had to keep their practice sessions on the quieter side, hence the noticeable absence of the bass or heavy drums, normally ubiquitous for similar bands. The band’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, came out in May 2012.

So, back to their name, this needs some explanation to make complete sense. On a Mac, if you hit Alt-(Option)-J simultaneously, the delta sign (∆) appears, signaling change. This was meaningful for the band mates, as the name for the band came about at a pivotal time in their lives.

If you’re missing out on Alt-J this month, don’t worry, they’ll be returning stateside in May for Sasquatch Festival, June for The Governors Ball and Bonnaroo, and later this fall for shows as well. Follow Alt-J on eventseeker!

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