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alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’.
It’s more than an un-Google-able symbol that looks good on a T shirt, though. As guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.
So much of the band’s sound is their own, perhaps because, as Gwil puts it, “we never had any ambitions at all”. From Joe’s high soul cry and Thom’s refusal to drum with cymbals (a rule first born out of necessity, because he couldn’t fit a full drum kit in Gwil’s bedroom where the band first practiced, so instead used saucepans), to the sparse guitars and Gus' delicate key clunks on songs like 'Bloodflood', a neat sound-bite for ∆’s music is yet to be coined, and perhaps never will be.
'An Awesome Wave' was released on May 28th 2012 through Infectious Music to a plethora of amazing reactions that saw it touted as the “hottest debut album” by NME, hailed as “exhilarating and emotive” by Q magazine and chosen as Zane Lowe’s record of the week on his Radio 1 show.