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  • An Awesome Wave (2012)
    1. Intro
    2. Interlude I
    3. Tessellate
    4. Breezeblocks
    5. Interlude II
    6. Something Good
    7. Dissolve Me
    8. Matilda
    9. Ms
    10. Fitzpleasure
    11. Interlude III
    12. Bloodflood
    13. Taro
    14. Hand-Made

    Named after the keystroke for making a delta (i.e., triangle) sign on a Mac by holding down the Alt and J keys, the Leeds, England–based trio Alt-J is inspired by the symbol’s mathematical definition of change. This makes sense upon hearing the band’s handsome 2012 debut album, An Awesome Wave. Its take on postmodern pop mines the best elements from folk-rock, garage rock, dub-pop, indie rock, vintage cinema scores, and a cappella harmony before constructing layered, angular arrangements with sonic ore. Following a dramatic piano part, the opening “Intro” weaves heavily reverberated baritone guitar leads (à la Ennio Morricone) over and around looped beats and random vocal samples that all come together to play like the sons of The Beta Band. These contrast the pointed, geometric arrangements of “Tessellate” with Joe Newman’s flowing, throaty vocals and backing harmonies, which hover above the music like those of Fleet Foxes. Then, in “Breezeblocks”—a mechanically grooving standout in which a toy piano provides the lead—he inflects like Devendra Banhart imitating Jason Mraz, with overt affectation. “Hand Made” closes with folky minimalism. Read more on Last.fm.

  • This Is All Yours (2014)
    1. Intro
    2. Arrival in Nara
    3. Nara
    4. Every Other Freckle
    5. Left Hand Free
    6. ❦ (Garden of England)
    7. Choice Kingdom
    8. Hunger of the Pine
    9. Warm Foothills
    10. The Gospel of John Hurt
    11. Pusher
    12. Bloodflood, Part II
    13. Leaving Nara
    14. Lovely Day

    The follow-up to the British indie rock trio's Mercury Prize-winning debut was produced by Charlie Andrew and is its first without bassist Gwil Sainsbury, who left the band for personal reasons Read more on Last.fm.