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An Awesome Wave

by Alt-J
An Awesome Wave by Alt-J
Released: May 2012
Label: Infectious
Managing to evoke both pastoral landscapes and urban blight, hippy-dippy wistfulness and disciplined musicality, hipster chic and burnout naïveté, An Awesome Wave is a badass study in bricolage, not to mention radical jams. Though the psychedelia can be heavy-handed at first (harmonized a cappella bleating? On track two?), the songs save the day. See: the dizzying arrangements on "Breezeblocks"; the unexpected jauntiness of "Something Good"; the warm glow of "Ms." With melodies buried like lice in hippy hair, the record continues to unfold with each successive listen. Positive vibes, man.
Garrett Kamps

Tracks