It was in 2007 at Leeds University where indie rock quartet Alt-J was formed. During their second year of study, Joe Newman (vocals/guitar) showed Gwil Sainsbury (guitarist/bassist) some of his own songs. The pair then began recording in their hall rooms with Gwil as acting producer on GarageBand. Due to this recording conditions, they were restricted from using bass guitars or bass drums thus producing an unusual sound. They were eventually joined by fellow Fine Arts student Thom Green (drums) and schoolmate Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) who studied English Literature. They moved to Cambridge after graduation and recorded their first album in Brixton which was released under Infectious Records.

Entitled “An Awesome Wave” was released on May 25, 2012 and immediately drew in numerous followers from different genres. They won the 2012 British Barclaycard Mercury Prize as bookmakers’ favorite and was proclaimed Album of the Year by BBC Radio 6 Music. Three of the album’s track also made its way into Australian 2012 Triple J Hottest 100.

Soon after, they went on a small concert tour in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They also performed in numerous summer 2012 festivals and took the stage in Hong Kong’s only music festival.

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