Alt-J: Yeah, maybe the Maccabees didn’t win the Mercury Award, so what?

The title suggests it, this article is supposedly about the band that won the Mercury Awards (which are the less popular but all the more worthy version of the MTV Music Awards) but will end up talking about the Maccabees just ’cause.

So, when I read the name Alt-J, I raised an eyebrow, “pffft”-ed for a while and then rolled my eyes in this theatrical way that really works in sitcoms but is just weird in real life. But then I listened to them and thought ‘dang, them boys are damn fine!’. Sure, their band name is quite horrible (why does no one listen to me?) but their music is absolutely amazing and reminds me of a weird mixture of Brian Eno and Menomena and an old-fashioned blues-artist stuck in the middle. Seriously, as much as I want to dislike them, because they look so hip and fresh and beautiful (well, not as beautiful as the Maccabees, obviously), their music is hypnotic, it’s the kind of music you get lost into, the kind that might remind you faintly of genres, artists and styles but in the end is its own entity, the kind that you will remember and gravitate towards.

What also struck me with their songs is the nearly ethereal quality to it. There are a lot of elements in their music, they work in folklore instruments, Electro Beats and more but the songs never feel dense. They are like intricate paintings drawn in watercolors. And every song offers something new and different, seriously, good on them for winning, I don’t know what any price ever did for anyone but it’s at least nice when they go to the right people.

Although the right people would have been The Maccabees, let’s face it, “Given to the Wild” is beautiful and I might or might not have “Ayla” as my ringtone and “Grew up at Midnight” as my wake-up tone since months and already look forward to write the entry on the album for my 2012-Best-Of-Roundup. I love them. I really do.

This song is the greatest thing to wake up to. Hugo White’s lyrics are so incredibly pure and the delivery, this amazing build-up within the song breaks my heart but in a good way.


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