Not in a very long time has something so totally musically artful and original graced my eardrums as alt-J.
Every aspect of each of their compositions, instrumentally, lyrically, and even the accompanying videos are some of the most beautiful, diverse, cultural and completely mesmerizing minutes of musical beauty; some of their tracks and accompanying videos move you almost to the point of tears. Though it may take some deciphering what exactly it is, their tracks and videos generally seem to have a distinct statement to make. It's clear that, through music, alt-J wants to make a difference.
An Awesome Wave, album by alt-J
The band's name, alt-J, comes from the symbol that is created as a result of the key command on a Mac, alt and J, which produces a triangle symbol; the Greek uppercase letter, delta.
Formed in England, some of their extraordinary artful background may come from the fact that some of their members studied fine art and literature while at University of Leeds. These backgrounds, combined with musical talent, produced their unique sound, sometimes labeled art-rock, psychedelic folk or experimental music, though it is seemingly difficult to categorize all of alt-J's music.
Much of their music, like the track "Breezeblocks," which is their most listened to song on Spotify right now, is somehow uplifting but somber and tragic at the same time. The video tells a tale of adultery and murder - played backwards. It's uplifting in the sense that the tale is so beautifully sung, delicate at times and powerful at others, but also tragic, because there is no happy ending. Though, it might take a few viewings to fully understand the narrative.
alt-J does have an extremely unique sounding vocalist, Joe Newman - one that, I think, listeners will decidedly dislike or love upon first listening.
Their most recent album, "An Awesome Wave," (pictured) can be streamed for free on Spotify. I do recommend looking up some of their videos on YouTube, as well.
Hewitt is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor.