alt-J Performs NPR ‘Tiny Desk Concert’


NPR Music rarely invites musicians back to tape a second appearance on its long running Tiny Desk Concert video series. Bob Boilen made an exception to his self-imposed rule and welcomed back alt-J for a second performance at his workspace.

The first alt-J Tiny Desk Concert took place in 2012 in support of their debut album An Awesome Wave, when the band was still in its original four-piece lineup. Founding member Gwil Sainsbury left the group in 2014 ahead of the release of their sophomore LP This Is All Yours later that year. For their second performance, Joe Newman, Thom Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton played a pair of tracks from their just-issued third LP Relaxer, along with a track from each of their other two records.

Boilen stipulated the follow-up alt-J appearance had to be substantially different from the 2012 debut, and he helped facilitate the addition of cellist Carol Anne Bosco and violinists Kristin Bakkegard and Paul Bagley. The band’s friend Will Gardner provided string arrangements which alt-J first heard performed on the day of the Tiny Desk taping. The set features Relaxer singles “3WW” and “In Cold Blood” as well as “Warm Foothills” from This Is All Yours and “Taro” off An Awesome Wave. Watch below:

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