Alt-J – Don’t Try This at Home

I’ve been wanting to post Alt-J for some time but they are so different, so offbeat, that I have struggled with the task of introducing them to those not used to hearing things a little different.

I’ve included two videos.   The first is a live set that shows just how much their audiences love their music.  They clearly know all the lyrics and at one point take over the singing altogether.

The second is a very new video from their just released album Relaxer.  Like some of their other videos this shows some of the deep, dark side of Alt-J.  Like some sort of peyote dream of life and death, it is also a hypnotic song about love.

What can I tell you to prepare you for Alt-J?  First, the obvious bits.  Alt-J is the Apple Mac key combination for the delta symbol (∆).  Delta is used in math and science to denote change.  OK, that was the easy part.  I understand part of their unique sound comes from their initial practice space where they had to keep the volume down leading to some very unusual drumming.

What does it all mean?  I guess that’s the hard part.  They look so normal in person, but their sound and feel seems to represent something much darker and more dangerous.  Yet I heard an interview where one of them said they played folk music. After all is said and done, it’s up to each listener to get his or her own response to their music.  I’d encourage you to give them some time, and check out several of their songs and videos before judging them.  They are a remarkable band and they hit it big immediately.  They sold out Madison Square Garden (where I took the picture above) after just one album.  Wow.

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