Alt-J was together for five years before they released their debut album, An Awesome Wave, in 2012. The band–though now without founding member Gwil Sainsbury–has been riding a pretty good wave ever since. Sainsbury allegedly left on good terms in 2014, in time for him to miss Alt-J’s breakout sophomore effort. That second album, This Is All Yours, was a smash. Now a trio, the English group whose members met at Leeds University watched as This Is All Yours went to #1 in the UK and #4 in the US.
Veterans of the festival circuit, including big shows in their university town of Leeds, Alt-J consists of Thom Green (drums) Gus Unger-Hamilton (vocals/keyboards) and Joe Newman (vocals/guitar). All members contribute lyrics. Alt-J songs are popular with other artists, too. Their track Tessellate, from their first album, has been covered by Ellie Goulding and Mumford & Sons. They’ve also done music for big time films. Alt-J performs on Jimmy Fallon on March 31. They just played Madison Square Garden, a triumph for the indie sensation.