Pulp. PJ Harvey. Franz Ferdinand. Arctic Monkeys. Portishead. The xx. And now Alt-J, the Leeds, England-based indie-pop quartet, can join their ranks as a winner of Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize for their debut An Awesome Wave. Congrats, lads!
The band have blown up big recently and it's no surprise. Their genre-hopping debut, which spans folk to electro to indie and back, has received rave reviews from critics, including the BBC, who wrote, "This album spans every workable idea, genre, and influence that can be crammed under the guitar music umbrella, yet it never feels disorientating." The New York Times even called their music "a very British convergence of texture-minded electronic music and psychedelic folk."
Fuse caught up with the band at Austin City Limits to chat about their Mercury Prize nom. "We were in a Starbucks in Manhattan, sitting around with our manager [when we found out]. We were second to last to be called out, so we had resigned ourselves to it not happening. Then I went out for a cigarette, then everyone was high-fiving in the window!"
And Alt-J were up against some stiff competition for the Mercury Prize, including other breakout Brit acts the Maccabees, Jessie Ware, Field Music and others. Each year the prize is awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
And there's good news for stateside fans: Alt-J are returning for another slew of tour dates, kicking off December 11 in San Francisco. See the dates below and get your tickets now -- tickets are selling quick. In the meantime, check out a few of Alt-J's best songs below.
12/11, San Francisco, CA (Bottom of The Hill)
12/12, Los Angeles, CA (Fonda Theater)
12/13, San Diego, CA (Casbah)
12/15, Portland, OR (Star Theater)
12/16, Kansas City, KS (Midland Theater)*
12/17, Seattle, WA (The Crocodile)
* w/ Passion Pit