I am really enjoying the newly released (in the States) debut album by Alt-J, An Awesome Wave. While comparisons to Radiohead have been made, I find Alt-J’s music unlike anything I’ve heard (well, maybe Yeasayer) - pop music from another planet. Joe Newman may be singing in English but it sounds like something I imagine might be sung in the townships of Mars by pale-green boys with dreadlocks down their backs and interstellar cellphones implanted in their foreheads. Eek-A-Mouse pad.
Alt-J has appeared out of the firmament fully formed. Their mix of electronic pop, ambient vibes, Madrigals, bursts of poly-rhythmic dance grooves, Bhangra, dubstep and multiple shifting moods, all within one song, is mighty sophisticated stuff from a group of young cats who look like they’ve been hiding out in their parents’ basements for most their lives. But sounding like they do, those parents could be Brian Eno and Laurie Anderson. And they seem to be drawing influence from some pretty hip writers. This tune, “Fitzpleasure” is inspired by a chapter in Hubert Selby Jr.‘s book Last Exit to Brooklyn titled “Tralala.”
Tralala, in your snatch fits pleasure, broom-shaped pleasure,
Deep greedy and Googling every corner.
It may sound like geek to me, but it’s good.