I’ve been mesmerized and fascinated by Alt-J‘s sound and their album, An Awesome Wave, for the past few weeks. The album won the Mercury Prize, and it’s well deserved. The more I listen to it, the more I find myself drawn to it. It’s not an album I’d necessarily recommend to everyone, as it’s a bit odd and left of center, but that’s what I love about it. Their sound is a kin to the intersection of Fleet Foxes and The xx.
There are several great tracks, especially “Breezeblocks”, “Tessellate”, but my absolute favorite is “Matilda”. I love the xylophone and the phrasing/vocals from lead singer Joe Newman. It’s different, touching, haunting, and just plain awesome.
I found two live performances of the track that I really liked. The first one is a stripped performance in a button shop in New York. Yes, a button shop, because, why not.
The band recently played a set for KEXP, and here’s “Matilda” from that set. This performance is more like the album version.
And because I’m really really digging Alt-J and their album, An Awesome Wave, here’s a bonus video of the band performing another standout track from the album, “Tessellate”.