Geoffrey Wiseman

∆ (alt-J) - An Awesome Wave

I bought An Awesome Wave by ∆ (website, iTunes, wikipedia), last night. ∆ is also known as alt-J for the key combination required to produce that symbol on a mac.

I first heard ∆'s Tessellate, on NPR's All Songs Considered, possibly on The Year In Music, 2012. I liked it well enough for it to stick with me, but I wasn't yet certain if it was something I wanted to own.

Since then I've played their album, An Awesome Wave (iTunes, amazon), on Rdio and some of their videos on YouTube over the course of several months, and increasingly it was something I was looking forward to, or wanting to go back to. Taking this as a positive sign, I decided to buy their album last night.

I'm glad I did; I've already listened to it a few times and I'm liking it better each time.

The first song of theirs that I heard was Tessellate:

Another early favorite for me is Breezeblocks:

I'm really enjoying this album, so I thought I'd share.


A few things have occurred to me since I posted this, and from talking with @thinkingbox on Twitter, I wanted to add a few things.

The vocals are fairly stylized; either the singer has an unusual character to his voice, or he's doing unusual things with it. I tend to think the latter. This could be off-putting for some, although I ended up enjoying this aspect of ∆. Listen to a few songs like Breezeblocks, Matilda, Fitzpleasure and Interlude 1 to get a sense of what sorts of things you might encounter.

I've always enjoyed music that plays with layers and timing, and the last portion of Breezeblocks ("Please don't go", "I love you so") reminds me a great deal of a round, in a nice way.

In Canada, this album is currently less than $7!