Alt-J (formed 2007)
Alt-J are a British indie rock outfit from Leeds who became popular with their 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Prize winning debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’.
Formation: Alt-J formed when band members Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vox), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboard) and Thom Green (drums) met each other while studying at Leeds University in 2007. Gus was studying English Literature while the others did Fine Art. They first started recording in their dorms and used Apple software GarageBand to produce their music. Having been through several name changes including 'Daljit Dhaliwal' and 'Films', they settled on Alt-J which is often depicted as the Greek symbol for delta which can be typed using the alt key and letter 'j' on an Apple OS X keyboard.
Musical Career: When Alt-J left University, they moved to Cambridge where they began further work on their music. They signed with Infectious Records in 2011 and soon released their first EP (self-titled) in London which was produced by Charlie Andrew. It included the tracks ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Hand-Made’, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Tessellate’. Their song ‘Bloodflood’ and ‘Tessellate’ were released on a single in October 2011 by Loud and Quiet. They released their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ in May 2012 which hit the UK charts at number 13. It was later released in the US on Canvasback Music and won the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. In 2012, they supported Wild Beasts on tour and also made appearances at a variety of festivals including Latitude, Tramlines, Bestival, Reading and Leeds, End Of The Road, Milhões de Festa, T in the Park, Green Man, Pukkelpop, Lowlands, and Into The Great Wide Open. They are set to Australia’s Laneway Festival and the Reading and Leeds Festival in 2013 and their song ‘Buffalo’ (featuring Mountain Man) appears in the new movie ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.
When you think of the words alternative spirit you think -upbeat, raucous indie-pop music and that's exactly what this new PIAS compilation album provides. The album consists of 39 tracks from artists such as Roisin Murphy, Basement Jaxx and Fleet Foxes.
Alt-J's Left 'Hand Free' is a fun opening track with its catchy hooks and upbeat melodies - a perfect intro that leads into The Black Keys track 'Tighten Up' which is one of the compilations many highlights. With a raw, blues sound it's everything you'd want (and expect) from a Black Keys track.
One of the more guitar heavy tracks comes courtesy of Bloc Party and their contribution '3x3'. Its hard-hitting vocal and frantic playing remind us just how good their album 'Four' (which the song was featured on) was.
Continue reading: Various Artists - [PIAS] Alternative Spirit Album Review
Sam Smith and Florence and the Machine are also set to play the Chicago festival.
Paul McCartney and Metallica have been announced as the headliners for this year's Lollapalooza Festival, taking place at Chicago's Grant Park on July 31st through to August 2nd. The legendary Beatle’s heading slot marks his first ever appearance at the long-running festival, while fellow headliners Metallica are making their Lollapalooza return after a 19 year absence.
Paul McCartney is headed to Grant Park
McCartney will headline the opening night of the festival, with The Weeknd, The War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes, Alt-J, Hot Chip and James Bay also scheduled to take the stage on Friday, July 31st.
The 'Left Hand Free' hitmakers were singled out for criticism by the former Oasis man during an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this week. Both artists are due to headline Latitude Festival later this year.
The former Oasis man let rip at the band, who topped the album charts last year with their second album This Is All Yours, in an interview with Rolling Stone. He said that he was “in no way a fan of Alt-J” and that, despite buying their track ‘Left Hand Free’, said they could “f**k right off as far as I’m concerned.” When he was asked why, he replied: “I don't know. One of them's got a moustache, and that's unacceptable.”
Gus Unger-Hamilton (L) and Thom Green (R) of Alt-J responded to Noel Gallagher
Continue reading: Alt J Shrug Off Noel Gallagher's Criticism As A "Rite Of Passage"
The British duo have done well both in Britain and the States throughout 2014, and their huge sales were recognised on Wednesday's glitzy awards ceremony.
Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith were the big winners at the Brit Awards. The annual music industry spectacular rewarded the two biggest-selling artists of last year by bestowing two trophies on each on Wednesday night (February 25th).
Sheeran won the two biggest prizes for which he was nominated – those of British Male Solo Artist and Best British Album for his sophomore record X. He beat four other UK Number 1 albums to do so – rival Smith’s In The Lonely Hour, Royal Blood’s self-titled debut, indie stars Alt-J’s This Is All Yours and George Ezra’s slow-burning debut Wanted On Voyage.
Ed Sheeran arriving for Wednesday night's Brit Awards, where he won twice
Continue reading: Ed Sheeran And Sam Smith Win At Brit Awards
T's new Perthshire home will welcome a group of amazing acts.
Amazing acts have been announced to perform at this year's T In The Park including Kasabian, Avicii and Fatboy Slim. Despite notorious festivals to match up to, it is looking very likely that this year that T in the Park will blow people away.
T in the Park has moved to it new home in the grounds of Strathallan Castle. Organisers DF Concerts and Tennent's Lager are ecstatic about the festival's first year here, playing host to 85,000 fans this summer. Festival Director Geoff Ellis said: 'This year is going to be a very special one for T in the Park as we make the beautiful grounds of Strathallan Castle our new home, and we're thrilled that some of the biggest artists in the world will be joining us in this historic first year.'
Continue reading: T In The Park 2015 Announces Killer Line-Up For Its New Venue
The festival brings some exemplary headliners to the Netherlands this Summer.
The Netherlands' Best Kept Secret Festival won't be a secret for long if they keep introducing stellar acts such as this each year! The first line-up announcement includes Alt-J, The Libertines and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
Joining the third line-up for Best Kept Secret this June is some of the finest indie, rock, punk and electronic artists the world has to over, with 35 more acts yet to be announced. Alongside newly reunited headliners The Libertines on Friday, June 19th 2015 are alt-rock veterans The Jesus And Mary Chain, playing the full tracklist of their 1985 debut album 'Psychocandy'. Aussie chart topper Chet Faker will also make an appearance, with Alabama's St. Paul & The Broken Bones who are currently on their 'Half The City' tour.
This year's Brit Award nominations features a few surprises...
The 2015 Brit Award nominations have finally been announced with, it seems, a few surprises alongside the obvious candidates. There's no prizes for guessing who's come out on top for this year's list of award-winning possibles.
Sam Smith leads nominations
Awards season rears its ominous head for another year, with some major ceremonies - in both film and music - having already taken place. We've seen prizes sent out for 2014's films; I.e. Golden Globes, the Critics' Choice Awards, People's Choice Awards, AFI Honours; and now it's time for music, with the BBC Sound of 2015 having already taken place and now The Brits and the Grammys have unveiled their candidates.
Coachella 2015 brings some fantastic artists - new and old - to Indio, California.
It's that time of year again as the full line-up announcement for Coachella 2015 arrives following some spectacular headliners: AC/DC, Jack White and Drake will all top the bills at the two-weekend event in April.
Well known for its diverse collection of rock, pop, electronic, hip hop and indie artists from around the world, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is yet again set to arrive at the Empire Polo Club fields in Indio, California. Kicking off with the first event from Friday April 10th - 12th, the festival will repeat the following week from April 17th - 19th.
Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums of 2014
10) Luke Sital-Singh - 'The Fire Inside'
A mixture of previous EP releases and new material 'The Fire Inside' is a fully loaded debut album from the short listed 'Sound Of 2014' artist. Luke wears his heart on his sleeve through tragedy, torment and failed relationships giving rise to some magical musical moments.
9) Deptford Goth - 'Songs'
The second album from Daniel Woolhouse is a thing of joy that needs to be appreciated without distraction, It's soft, smooth and oh so soothing, it can't fail but to relax and chill you out. If you need to wind down just let it wash over you, you'll feel all the better for it.
8) Perfume Genius - 'Too Bright'
Mike Hadreas has broadened his horizons on this, his fourth album. Here he not only deliveries on his signature piano ballads but also explores new sonic territory to great effect. Too Bright is a multifaceted album full of surprises that never fails to delight.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood’s Top Albums Of 2014