Year of creation: 2007
Members: Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton, Thom Green
Label: Infectious Records
Genre : Alternative rock
Last album : This Is All Yours (2014)
Take Away Show
∆ Alt-J: complexity, normality and triangles ∆
Two years ago, I fell in love twice. The first time was with the man with whom I am sharing my life, the second with the band I want to talk to you about today. Alt-J was my soundtrack for a year, I actually saw them live three times in less than a year. And if you hear people saying their shows are not that great (nice lightwork but they don’t move a inch during the all show, except at the end, to make little triangles with their hands), I would tell you it is the only band which made me cry during a show… Because I have a friend named Mathilde and I miss her. Alt-J leaves the music do the job, meaning creating a flow of emotions in which you immerge yourself until it creates some kind of out-of-body experience where keeping your eyes open to look at the stage does not make sense anymore.
Musically speaking, they distinguish themselves by the singer’s weird falsetto, but also by the super-complex and often bombastic music, borrowing ideas from rock, folk, synthpop and even dubstep. Describing their music is a totally futile exercise considering how complex is it. Some (not me, as you understood by now) would argue that what they do is kind of pretentious, even irritating, and rather boring. Furthermore, and this time I agree, their fashion style is remarkably unremarkable.
I can almost hear you scream at your screen: why make an article about them then?
Quite simply because they perfectly illustrate one of the key-trends of the last 2 years: the “normcore”. It consists in adopting a “no-look”, basically not trying to stand out and therefore to free oneself from some fashion diktats, to choose exceptionally common clothes, without any flashy colours, contrasts, apparent label… In short, doing everything to get lost in the crowd like some sort of urban chameleon.
The label most representative of this trend is Gap. The more basic, the more fashionable. Pepper your basics with samples from your father’s wardrobe from the 80s-90s, and you shall be trendy. Trust me.
Alt-J is also very representative of this style, but go figure if it will become a thing in the pop music world, but it is likely that you will not realize it if it does, as discretion is normcore’s trademark.
Adopt Alt-J’s look
– The white t-shirt is the must-have of your wardrobe
– Wear fitted chino pants (but not too fitted, you would risk attracting eyeballs)
– Above those, wear a vintage plaid shirt or a shirt with ikat print
– And for the shoes, the latest reissue of a vintage brand (like Vans or Adidas’ Stan Smith)
Neutral mottled greys, blacks, whites associated with vintage colours: brown, grey green, old rose.