If you have been on the festival circuit this year, be it T In The Park, Bestival, Tramlines, Reading, or maybe further afield like Ibiza Rocks, you might have stumbled across a band that takes its name from an Apple Mac keyboard. Alt-J is the Mac command to produce the symbol ∆, Delta, which guitarist Gwil Sainsbury has explained, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change” and this attention to detail is plain in songwriting and production that is tipped to scoop the 2012 Mercury Prize, the UK music industry’s Oscars.

Following on from their stunning EP Matilda, debut album An Awesome Wave, delivers the same heady mix of musical genres, weaving together folk, hip and trip hop, with an accessible pop sensibility. Their disregard for the traditional barriers between genres speaks of a deep understanding of how music works. In turn this has built a considerable on-line following that has translated into a real world fanbase – and the band’s recent festival performances. They have come a long way since crafting their first tunes together in their dorm at Leeds University in 2007. Change is coming. Look out for Alt-J at the Mercury Awards this November.

Pierfrancesco Pacoda

Subscribe Scroll to Top