Alt-J with Lord Huron at First Ave 9/8/13

Alt J Fall tour

Alt-J has had 2 shows scheduled at First Ave September 7th and 8th for some time, but it was just announced today that the opener will be Lord Huron!

For anyone who has yet to take the time to listen to Alt-J, now is the time.  As cliche as it sounds, this band has created a sound unlike anything I have ever heard before.  When trying to think of bands to compare them to…I draw a blank, their sound is one of the most original things I have ever heard.

Alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.
Gwil, Joe Newman [guitar/vocals], Gus Unger-Hamilton [keyboards] and Thom Green [drums] met at Leeds University in 2007. Gus studied English Literature; the other three Fine Art. In their second year of studies, Joe played Gwil a handful of his own songs inspired by his guitar-playing dad and hallucinogens, and the pair began recording in their dorm rooms with Gwil acting as producer on Garageband.

Needless to say, the response to Joe’s hushed falsetto yelps and Gwil’s rudimentary sampling skills was good. When Thom was played the tracks he joined the band straight away. “I hadn’t heard anything like it,” he says. “It was music I was looking for, I just didn’t know I was. I just loved it.”

Gus completed the band’s lineup and together – first as Daljit Dhaliwal and then as Films – the four friends spent the next two years playing around town, developing a precise and unique brand of alt. pop that draws on poignant folk verses, crushing synths, smart hip hop syncopations and tight vocal harmonies. They dropped the moniker of Films in 2007, largely to avoid confusing the band with Californian punk troupe The Films. alt-J (∆) gave them a unique name to go with the unique ‘folk-step’ that they now concoct in the basement of a terrace house in Cambridgeshire.

lord_huron_press

The debut album Lonesome Dreams from praised LA-based band Lord Huron (out now on IAMSOUND Records) continues to garner widespread praise—USA Today explains, “the indie-folk band paints a vivid landscape with upbeat, warm melodies and the dreamy vocals,” while The New York Times describes the music as, “pretty, multilayered Americana strumming and harmonizing.” Lord Huron was featured in several year end lists, including NPR Music’s “10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012,” as Esquire called them “the last true New Band You Need to Hear This Year.”

(Previous feature on “Lord Huron” can be found on this blog dated 4/5/13)

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