Alt-J (∆) – An Awesome Wave LP
Alright, the name is a wee bit pretentious, and they freely admit to being fans of (gulp) Coldplay, but look past those little indiscretions and this Leeds lot are looking pretty hot in the run up to their debut album release. The hype machine was fired up following a successful tour supporting Wild Beasts, and they’ll be gracing our very own Tramlines festival this July with their ‘wholly unique’ musical vision; no covers of ‘Yellow’, then.
“Triangles are my favourite shape” dictates Joe Newman on ‘Tesselate’; yep, I think we grasped that one lads, but amongst the math-rock lyrical nuances there’s a bit of magic at work. The Kid-A referencing keys become captivating, all your senses immersed in the sound being created. ‘Breezeblocks’ weaves a vocal spider-web that that entangles you even more, all in preparation for the hypnotic and beautiful ‘Ms’, which appears to lay your ears down on a bed of cotton wool, before taking them down the park for a spin on the roundabout.
As far as the musical vision goes, An Awesome Wave is what Alice would have seen in Wonderland had she been stood on her head and peering through a kaleidoscope. This is more than just an album to have on in the background; it’s an absorbing and massively rewarding sensory experience.
Words by Lewis Parker