- Thu, 2013-01-31 13:26
I was recently invited to Absolute Radio's studios to watch the recording of an intimate acoustic session with alt-J. When I arrived I was led up to the studio first because I was "press", which made me feel GREAT. I sat right in the middle of the leather sofa at the back of the room and primed myself to be sonically lifted.
A few minutes later a small crowd of competition winners and friends arrived. Lucky us! They stood directly in front of me.
Staring into a wall of backs, I waited patiently for them to move, channeling the wholly inclusive and nonchalant notion that our combined appreciation for such a WONDERFUL one off experience would soon cause them to part or better still, sit on the floor. They didn't. I moved.
The band came in! Oooo! But it wasn' the band. It was singer Joe and keyboard chap Gus. Sans bass and drums, the semi-quartet launched into a quietly compelling set of just three songs; Something Good, Tessellate and Breezeblocks. Without rolling baselines transporting the sound to darker, Mercury Prize winning territories, the tracks took on a far more melancholy and contemplative air, so much so, it almost became awkward between each song. We were all so still and quiet.
It was over before it had even begun. Just three songs. Oh. Still, a rare chance to really hear the bones of their sound so close-up.
If you want to hear it too, the session plus an interview with Gus is being broadcast on Absolute Radio on the Geoff Lloyd Hometime Show on 31st January from 7-8pm and again on 3rd February from 10pm for the Sunday Night Music Club: www.absoluteradio.co.uk
Also, just in case you haven't heard it here's the new track alt-J unveiled in November. The track features on the soundtrack for Bradley Cooper film Silver Linings Playbook and has the wonderful addition of Mountain Man, the all female US singing trio.
Stay up to date with alt-J at www.altjband.com
By Kim Hillyard @kimhillyard