alt-J (also known as ∆) is an English indie rock band formed in 2007 in Leeds, England, by Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals) and Thom Green (drums). The band’s debut album An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012 in Europe and September 2012 in the United States, and won the 2012 British Mercury Prize. Gwil Sainsbury amicably departed the band in early 2014. Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released on 22 September 2014 and went straight to UK number 1. As a replacement for Sainsbury, Cameron Knight will be a support member for alt-J’s live shows, playing guitar, bass and sampler. The drummer Thom Green suffers from Alport syndrome, a rare genetic disease which causes hearing and kidney failure. As a result, he is now about 80 percent deaf.
The band produced the song “Buffalo” for the David O. Russell film Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Several of their tracks, including “Something Good” and “Fitzpleasure”, have been used for BBC 2’s channel idents. “Fitzpleasure” was also featured as a theme song in an episode of the television series Weeds. “Tessellate” was featured at the beginning of Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Episode 5. In February 2013 the band announced they would be composing the soundtrack for Toby Jones’ new film Leave To Remain.