The Mystery Behind The Band Alt-J: Where Are They Now
To All the Alt-J Fans
This piece was written sometime around 2016 but it still seems to get a good amount of views. I believe it is because the article remains relevant to some extent today. Alt-J, as I state in this article, is a very unique band. I do not think that they make music on a timeline or strive to satisfy a quota. They have shown up again since I wrote this. The band made an album in 2018. However, I have lost track of them again here in 2020. That's what I like about them. They seem to be the phantom band of this generation. Separating themselves from the usual and sometimes boring monotonous Pop artists of today.
The Discovery of An Unknown Band
- Where in the world did the band Alt-J disappear to? I came to know this band’s music around 2013, and apparently, that was a hellacious year for this four-member group. I, among others, found their unique style and take on indie music through songs such as; Matilda, Taro, and Tessellate, gathered with a few others that rose to the top on their album, “An Awesome Wave,” which was out in 2012. However, their popularity really reached star status in 2013. After this out of nowhere band’s music caught national attention, the world seemed to have discovered a new group of musical renegades to admire with a sound unlike anyone had ever heard before.
- And then, 2014 rolled around and their album “This Is All Yours” was released. I love the song “Hunger of the Pine.” Along with this song, there was a bevy of different and interesting tunes on this album. Although I still could not make out a single word of the lyrics, the music and the words seemed to gravitate me to another world, spin my senses, and relax my mind.
Miley Cyrus has become a big fan and great friend to Alt-J lending her voice to the track "Hunger Of The Pine" with the term "I'm a female rebel." Keep an ear open for Miley's voice.
Miley also frequently sings Alt-J's song "Fitzpleasure" while on tour.
Hunger Of The Pine
What Did He Just Sing: A Funny Take On Joe Newman's Lyrics
- Afterwards, it was literally like they had risen to the top and as fast as they were lifted, they had sunk back into the paralysis of an everyday normal existence. I can't say this for sure. I’m just making my own prediction on what they did after the whirlwind of tour dates and fans of millions came to soak up the unexplained way to like a song we really did not understand; or did we? That was always the question, I, myself, had when I listened to lead singer Joe Newman belly out one of his self-written masterpieces that even his bandmates admit was too confusing for them to understand. I had to laugh at that while watching an interview with two of the band members Gwil Sainsbury(bass) and Thom Green(drums). They explain that it wasn’t until they added the lyrics onto the album and read them back to themselves did they understand just what their lead singer was harmonizing? It was quite a funny interview I found of these two explaining this as you will see in the clip below.
Funny Lyric Talk
- Shakespearean lyrics is how this interviewer described Alt-J's titles and lyrics, and I think as a poet myself, I would agree that their music has a poetic tone. I'm not a Shakespeare fan, so I'm not so sure I agree with the Shakespeare reference to their style of music; no, I think it is an Alt-J original. I think like most poets or artists of any genre; they came up with something that resonated somehow with an audience. It made sense to the unique; the poets, the misfits, or the nerd in chemistry class that never talks to anyone, but loves to test and figure out things. In that way, Alt-J, to me, are chemistry. They brought together four talented college students who wanted to make an uncommon mark in the world of music. Whether it was from boredom, the drive of fame, or just to test a hypothesis that they came up with on their own. Whatever drove them to form a band with an unorthodox title, write scrambled lyrics that somehow, we, who listened, liked to attempt to unscramble and make sense of, whichever their reason; it worked! I loved the process of how they made their music. I hope they are still making incomparable music as I talk about them now, and it is my thought that they are at this very moment entertaining the world somewhere.
It's Nerd Music! Yes, That Must Be It
- However, this group makes sense in a weird nerd way. Again, this is just my take on them, but they made a statement from the beginning. I mean, guys that name their band after a code on their computer; alt then j, which, by the way, is a delta sign when keyed in, says a lot doesn’t it? As unique as the band's title is, and even though it was formed from the keyboard of a computer, this symbol does have meaning, and in my opinion, fits Alt-J's personal vision very well. Even if those of us, who listen, do not quite understand, we kind of understand, don't we? However, to make it a little more clear and to show how this sign coincides well with this group, the explained definition of a delta sign, which can be formed by the alt button and the j letter on a Mac computer is;
The Delta sign in Greek terminology is the fourth letter of the alphabet. It has a value of four, and denotes the meaning of change or change in quantity.
- The band met at Leeds University in the United Kingdom where they all were studying, so they sort of remind me of the Revenge of the Nerds band. You know, the movie where two nerds went to college, formed a fraternity, and made up this awesome band to show up the jocks? It’s no wonder that I think that, considering Joe Newman did say his songs are heavily influenced by cinema.
This Had To Be One of Their Cinematic Inspirations??
A Few More Fun Facts:
The title of their first album, “An Awesome Wave,” comes from a line in the movie “American Psycho.”
The song “Matilda” gives homage to a young 12-year-old Natalie Portman’s character in the film “Leon.”
Billboard article of Thom "Sonny" Green's new solo album "High Anxiety"
- alt-J's Thom Sonny Green Made an Experimental Electronic LP and Visualizer: Exclusive | Billboard
Who's ready to go on a trip?
Emerging From The Woods
- So it goes today in 2016, I’m not at all sure where this lovely band went. I have looked around and found out that they recently got together to play at the “In The Woods Festival 2016.” This festival has been supporting unknown bands in the UK for 10 years now, and Alt-J was one of the bands that the festival showcased through some of those years. Alt-J took some time to come together and rally around this festival’s cause and apparently had a wonderful time by what I read on their Facebook page. I also read on their page that band member Thom Green is now promoting a solo album.
- This is such an awesome thing for Thom. Many may not know that Thom suffers from a rare genetic disease called Alport syndrome. This disease causes hearing loss and kidney failure. The extraordinary thing about Thom is his perseverance and love for his music. Even though he lost most of his hearing by the age of six, and is now eighty percent deaf, he has conquered this by rallying through and keeping up with his gift of musical talent. Go Thom Green!
- No matter what they are doing now, this band deserves a big applause for entertaining the crowd of misfits, and unique individuals like myself, who love to listen to different takes on popular music such as indie. In their few short years of fame, this band made a mark in the music industry that will never fade. I, for one, hope that they are not out of the musical biz yet. I hope they decide to come back better than ever and grace us all with some more of their unique talent and candy for our ears. Even though one band member has since decided to depart from the group (Gwil Sainsbury), I know Alt-J still has so much more to offer and a musical legacy to unfold to their fans and listening audience. Thanks, Alt-J! Here's hoping you will return soon with more musical genius and artistry to share with the whole world.
- If anyone knows what Alt-J is up to these days and would like to comment, please do. Drop me a line in the comment section. Thanks!
Every Other Freckle Side by Side (boy and girl) version.
Alt-J Has Made Several Videos With Two Separate Versions, and I Thought It Would Be Fun To Display One of Those Videos Side by Side
After Watching The Video of The Song "Every Other Freckle" In Both Versions Below, Which Do You Like Best? Boy or Girl Version?
Alt-J has finally resurfaced and will be releasing a new album June 2, 2017!!! "Relaxer"
Link below to their Facebook page where you can get a listen to the first single off this album "Cold Blood"
alt-J. 1,595,521 likes · 40,220 talking about this. RELAXER, out June 2nd: https://alt-j.lnk.to/RelaxerFA Sign up at http://altjband.com/
The Coolest Band Ever - Alt-J- Fitzpleasure Live
© 2016 Missy Smith