This Cambridge, U.K. quartet is awash in nonstop Radiohead comparisons, which are apt less for their sound than a shared appetite for experimentation and genre confusion. On their debut album, An Awesome Wave, Alt-J drift beyond the modern rock flavors of the moment to a sound joyously complex, blending folk warmth with bristling rock and electronics in songs about the geometry of emotion and favorite movies and books. (It's no surprise that their original name was Films.) Alt-J is named after a computer keystroke (for creating a ∆), which is sort of explained in the song "Tessellate," as frontman Joe Newman sings, "Triangles are my favorite shape." Likewise, Alt-J is both obscure and strangely accessible.
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