Mercury Prize 2012


If Alt-J’s Mercury Music Prize demonstrated one thing it was that even electronica has a place in the testing ground where pop meets rock. The quartet’s debut album An Awesome Wave was widely tipped to scoop the top spot and so it proved. There’s really little like it this or any other year: the Cambridge foursome somehow conjuring catchy tunes from a seemingly impossible synthesis of folk, rock, pop, hip-hop, trip-hop, indie, and of course electronic. Produced by Infectious Records, who have already brought to the fore Muse and Garbage, An Awesome Wave followed the stunning EP Matilda / Fitzpleasure which rapidly garnered a massive following. Combining everything from an Eighties synthesizer sound to R&B, a children’s choir and Bhangra, Alt-J almost defy description – instead they have to be listened to. Live if possible, and you will have plenty of opportunities in the UK when, after a couple of gigs in London in January, they begin a proper tour in May. Meanwhile, the quartet is busy performing to packed audiences across America.

Who knows what musical surprises they will spring next!


Pierfrancesco Pacoda

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