alt-J On World Cafe

Jun 2, 2017
Originally published on June 2, 2017 1:10 pm

When it comes to today's guests, mystery is the name of the game. The band's name is the symbol of a triangle. It's pronounced alt-J. You won't find pictures of the three stars of the band very many places — certainly not on the cover of its new record, which features a drawing of an anonymous red body on the side of a highway. And not in the music video for the album's first single, which stars a scurrying wood mouse.

alt-J's sound is just as hard to pin down as the members themselves. It's somewhere between folk and electronica, the words sometimes poetry, sometimes prose — and often hard to understand, so alt-J clears up some misheard-lyric gems in this session.

We also talk about the impostor syndrome the band felt when its 2012 debut album, An Awesome Wave, went platinum and won the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Prize. You'll learn why the members of alt-J feel more comfortable being recognized in the U.S. than at home in the U.K., and hear performances of songs from the band's new album, Relaxer. Hear the complete session, recorded when the band stopped by World Cafe in April, in the player above.

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