So I promised you last post that I was planning to expose you to the album that has played non-stop, on repeat for weeks now and may very well be my album of the year. This little black horse that came out of nowhere and blew my mind is Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave. Alt-J are an indie English band and this is their debut album. Debut. I kid you not. The synth/indie/folk/pop (the number of genres I need to begin to describe this are a little disturbing) album) and band are compared commonly to Radiohead but for me personally I hear more of a more upbeat and inventive Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes in terms of their vocals and the lack of comprehensible structure/beat. The vocals are strange and unusual in an awesome and dreamlike way. The whole album just carries me through this slightly psychedelic, visual (don’t ask me how) and dynamic journey punctuated with clever rhythms and strange instrumentals. How the whole album sounds both hopeful and accessible whilst arty and melancholic slightly confuses me the result is nothing less than wonderful. Go and listen to any song of the album and I feel you will hear something new.
Having said that my favourites off the album (nearly impossible to choose) range from the smooth synth tune Tessellate with its slightly deeper base line to Breezeblocks with the popular R&B/Island rhythms that are crazy addictive and then to Matilda which to me demonstrates how charged with emotion the album can get. I also must mention Taro as another favourite, it is folky and moving without losing the quirky qualities that make this album work . I don’t even really know how to describe these songs to do them justice.
The album as a whole works perfectly with charged up stunners interspersed with some more instrumental palate cleansers. The whole thing goes together to create an electrifying and quirky listen that I think compares well to The XX’s debut in that it kind of defies traditional classification. I tried my best to explain the adoration I have for this album but I am not a music reviewer and this will leave a lot unsaid. Spend an evening listening to this and I promise you won’t regret it. If I ever see them playing here in New Zealand I will sell my firstborn for tickets.