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Alternative Acts

Cambridge, UK

alt J

Alt-J (formed 2007)Alt-J are a British indie rock outfit from Leeds who became popular with their 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Prize winning debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’.

Alt-J formed when band members Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vox), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboard) and Thom Green (drums) met each other while studying at Leeds University in 2007. Gus was studying English Literature while the others did Fine Art.

They first started recording in their dorms and used Apple software GarageBand to produce their music. Having been through several name changes including 'Daljit Dhaliwal' and 'Films', they settled on Alt-J which is often depicted as the Greek symbol for delta which can be typed using the alt key and letter 'j' on an Apple OS X keyboard.

When Alt-J left University, they moved to Cambridge where they began further work on their music. They signed with Infectious Records in 2011 and soon released their first EP (self-titled) in London which was produced by Charlie Andrew. It included the tracks ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Hand-Made’, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Tessellate’. Their song ‘Bloodflood’ and ‘Tessellate’ were released on a single in October 2011 by Loud and Quiet.

They released their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ in May 2012 which hit the UK charts at number 13. It was later released in the US on Canvasback Music and won the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. In 2012, they supported Wild Beasts on tour and also made appearances at a variety of festivals including Latitude, Tramlines, Bestival, Reading and Leeds, End Of The Road, Milhões de Festa, T in the Park, Green Man, Pukkelpop, Lowlands, and Into The Great Wide Open.

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