alt-j-fitzpleasure-545x545There’s another twist in the alt-J/∆/FILMS plot. It’s good news though. The band are currently touring, released their debut single back in October and just this Monday followed that debut with double A side “Matilda/Fitzpleasure”. As long term readers are no doubt aware we’ve been following alt-J with interest for a couple of years now.  Indeed it was the gorgeous “Matilda” that first grabbed our attention and found it’s way onto our Songs Of 2010 release. Since then the band have undergone a name change accompanied by free giveaways of demos recorded under the old name, FILMS. Giveaways followed by the subsequent re-release of the mastered versions of some of those tracks. Needless to say it’s all a bit confusing, but the important thing is the four piece are now getting the exposure they deserve. It’s pleasing when these things work out as they should.

alt-J are currently supporting Ghostpoet on tour. They may seem an odd choice of support for a hip-hop artist . Having had the chance to see them filling said support slot I can safely report that there need be no concerns. The two acts complemented each other beautifully. Both have an experimental and electronic aspect to their sound, in fact it’s that aspect that makes them so exciting. Praise goes to whoever was brave enough to propose the pairing.

alt-J opened up with “Fitzpleasure”, all distorted electronica, vocal harmonies and heavy sound. There was evidence of a few teething problems in some of the newer, and possibly overly textured tracks with nervous glances aplenty between the harmonists. Having said that it was the first date of the tour, and if anything the band should be commended for giving tracks that may be a little rough around the edges some time.  Pushing boundaries always beats resting on laurels. The latter half of the set saw a return to the old gems. “Breezeblocks” was an inevitable highlight, even more uplifting and entrancing than on record. The track displays a fantastic range of sound and textures woven together so perfectly that the only remaining question is when are they going to release it? As a whole the set was impressive in both its scope and intricacy

Speaking of releases, and last Monday’s in particular, “Matilda” was also a standout. Again, that was somewhat anticipated given prior knowledge of its quality. Perhaps that places more pressure on the live performance in doing the piece justice? Either way the track was certainly as rich, melodic and throughly enjoyable as always. You’d be foolish not to head to iTunes to make a purchase, “Fitzpleasure” is even better in its polished recorded form. Also if you’re fortunate enough to have the guys playing anywhere near you anytime soon be sure to make an appearance, as their performance will only be stronger.

alt-J  –  Matilda