FunFunFun Fest Artist: Alt-J

Written by on October 28, 2014

“…mumbling tune…


Do you know where the wild things go

mumbling more, LA LA LA LA!”

The first few months this song hit the radio, this was the description for the song that we were all singing, until someone looked up the lyrics. We had no idea what was being said, but almost everyone loved it.

The hypnotic strums of guitar, mystical keys and the ever so unique voices of the English indie rockers known as Alt-J captivated the music world. One listen to the single Breezeblocks and we were all hooked.

The group consists of lead singer and guitarist Joe Newman, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, bassist Gwil Sainsbury and drummer Thom Green. They met at Leeds University (where they all studied); Unger-Hamilton is an English Literature major, while the other three have degrees in fine art. Newman and Sainsbury began practicing together, recording there music on the Apple software GarageBand in their hall room, where they were roommates.

Much speculation has questioned whether or not Alt-J was out set to create a new type of music genre. Some classify their sound a “Folkstep” while Unger-Hamilton best describes it as “Post-internet”.

In all actuality, the boys just want to continue doing what they love, which is making music.

“Our ambition wasn’t to create a new genre, it was just to write music that we liked.” -Joe Newman


The band also goes by ∆, and the name derives from the Mac specific shortcut for delta, which is Alt+J. This group, as a unit, are very much Apple people. Each to their own, I’m just listening to them now on my Android and writing this on my PC…

At the end of 2011, after the members graduated from university, they were signed onto Infectious Records. There debut self titled album ∆ was released in 2012 featuring the Breezeblocks, Tessellate, Matilda and Hand-Made. In April of 2012 along with Wild Beasts, Alt-J did an UK and Ireland tour. This past September, This Is All Yours was released, provided new hit single Left hand Free.

Alt-J has been apart of many iconic festivals over the last two years, including Bonnoroo, Glastonbury, and Coachella. They will be hitting the Orange Stage Friday, November 7th at FFFFest at 8:30.

Be sure to check out some music aside from the radio hits! My favorites are Fitzpleasure and Tessellate.


By Corina Carrizales

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