Radar Tip Of The Day 71: Alt-J

The first time Radar met Alt-J
(aka ‘triangle’, aka △, aka the band who used to be called Films), we did a photoshoot with them where they refused to show us their faces.

It ended up looking heroically bad, so we ran a picture in the mag of King Krule instead (calling all bands: don’t cover up your faces with your hands – it just looks like you’re crying). Why King Krule? Cos we were at Midi festival and his set there was excellent. But the point is, so were Alt-J, and so was theirs.

The fourpiece look freakishly young but have this busy, intricate sound to everything they do that makes you think they’re either all Mensa members or about 45 years old. Every song seems to have as many layers as possible – mainly revolving around unusual rhythms, weird jabby bits of guitar and lots of loping dub bass – but it all ends up sounding oddly world-weary and wise, touching on everything from Patrick Wolf (circa ‘Wind In The Wires’) to – gulp! – Coldplay (they’re fans apparently).

Anyroad, their debut single – a version of which is below – is called ‘Tessellate’. It contains the line “Triangles are my favourite shape”.


And this next one is one of the tracks that really jumped out at me during their Midi set (Coldplay-punning title intended, I presume). I might be wrong, but I think they wrote this one especially for Midi, which is kinda sweet.