Five Things to Know About Alt-J

Photo: Jory Cody

Quirky quartet Alt-J have been turning heads with their intricately designed deconstructionist rock in the UK for the past few months, and now the Leeds-based group is starting to garner some attention across the pond thanks to some nods from high-profile admirers (see below) and placement in TV shows (e.g. their song “Fitzpleasure” appeared in a recent episode of Weeds). The group will see the release of its debut album, An Awesome Wave, stateside next week, so in anticipation, here are a few facts that shed a little light on just what the heck “Alt-J” is.

1. Their name isn’t actually Alt-J, it’s

Following some deep-seeded Prince-like instinct, the group named itself the uppercase Latin symbol delta (created by typing holding down the “alt” and “J” keys on a keyboard while using a Mac … get it?). In the band’s bio, guitarist-bassist Gwil Sainsbury says, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change.” The band members occasionally use it like a heart to sign off on Facebook posts (e.g., “∆ Thom”) and their fans sometimes make the triangle with their hands at their concerts.

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