Alt-J (stylized as ?) may be the most successful new British band of 2012 — a favorite to win the Mercury Music Prize in November and a Top 20 chart phenomenon in the U.K. The group, which chose its name from the mathematical symbol for change, made a splash with its debut album, An Awesome Wave, which came out in September. The record mixes upbeat indie rock and brooding synths with vocals that sound like no one else's in music today.
In this World Cafe session, alt-J's members discuss how they met at Leeds University, the story behind their band's name, and the way they got started in the industry. And, of course, they perform several tracks from An Awesome Wave.
This edition of World Cafe originally aired October 23, 2012.