Alt-J Ready for U.S. Debut With ‘An Awesome Wave’

European Sensation Alt-J hits the United States With 'An Awesome Wave'

(from Billboard Magazine, September 15, 2012) Alt-J is a name that you may not have heard before, but you will in days to come. The British indie pop band has been enjoying great success with their first album “An Awesome Wave.”  The album has hit it big in Europe with Alt-J being hailed as having a groundbreaking sound. The band has also received a nomination for 2012’s Mercury Prize. Alt-J has been called unclassifiable; it spans a myriad of genres from folk and rock to trip-hop and electronica. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Yeasayer, The XX, and Radiohead. The members of the Alt-J feel that their unordinary sound is good for music, saying “We don’t find genres particularly helpful. Music doesn’t need to be so easily categorized. There’s no need to call it anything.” The group is not one to rush through the creative process; the band took almost four years fine tuning the sound of “An Awesome Wave” before its debut in Europe. Even with the success the band has seen overseas, they remain relatively unknown in America.

On September 12, the band began their North American tour by selling out New York’s 250 seater, Mercury Lounge. The following week they sold out the significantly larger Bowery Ballroom. Alt-J’s Director of Marketing, Jack Hedges, attributes the band’s early success to the music website SoundCloud. While “An Awesome Wave” has yet to be released on iTunes in the US, the album has been available to stream from SoundCloud for six months now. Each song has been played over 150,000 times apiece. Mr. Hedges explained his reasoning when he said, “Instead of taking the stream down because of damaged sales, it paid off. The first U.S. shows were sold out.” With the aid of SoundCloud, Alt-J hopes to make an awesome wave in their tour across America.