There are simultaneously urgent and calm forces in Alt-J's music. Straightforward, clean vocals give way to spiraling keyboard verses and rhythmic, quirky drumming. Their debut record, An Awesome Wave, took the UK and the rest of the music world with gale force last year, presenting an immediately catchy and distinctive sound. Harmonic lead vocals escalate into expansive choruses that break down in a flood of energy and dance-floor emotion. The beauty of Alt-J's music is its intuitive intricacies; the band knows when to withhold and when to give the audience everything it's got. RACHEL MILBAUER
1332 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Doors usually open an hour before show time.