Alt-J’s debut album is called An Awesome Wave, a fitting title for a record that’s home to some of the year’s more interesting melodies. At the Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, the Leeds, UK psych-pop quartet showed off their ability to make a splash on this side of the Atlantic.
This was the second visit to New York for Alt-J (∆), and their first jaunt across the river to Brooklyn after another sold-out date at Mercury Lounge the night before. Their songs flirt with both the minimal and maximal, sometimes even on the same tracks, like "Breezeblocks." Buzzing synths lay the foundations on “Fitzpleasure,” while “Matilda” is pure delicacy. Frontman Joe Newman’s unique voice carries the longing-ridden “Tessellate,” and the band’s harmonies sound as crisp live as they do on record.
Though Newman expressed the requisite “I-can’t-believe-we’ve-come-here” sentiments of an international artist’s early days in America, he’s going to recognize that he’s earned it sooner than later.
An Awesome Wave will see American release in September. Stream the full album here.