Are Alt-J The 'New Radiohead'?

A young band from Leeds, England are tipped to win the esteemed Mercury Music Prize - but are they really good enough to compare to Radiohead? Listen and decide for yourself right here.

Ultimate Guitar

Book makers who are taking bets on who will win the esteemed Mercury Music Prize have taken a shining to Alt-J, citing them as "the new Radiohead."

It's a bold claim, but as you can hear in the player below, there's an approach to their experimental production and introspective songwriting that would make Thom Yorke proud.

"The four-piece have brought something different and innovative to the party which punters have latched onto," a representative for bookmaker Ladbrokes told NME. "It will be a huge upset if anyone else picks up this year's Mercury Prize and it won't be long before Alt-J are considered as the 'new Radiohead'."

Alt-J have taken a modest stance to the claims, and simply say they would love to be involved in the ceremony.

The Mercury prize is dedicated to finding the best new music in the UK, and began in 1992 where Primal Scream won with their album "Screamadelica". Since then it has singled out releases by PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys and Elbow.

Hear "Tesselate" by Alt-J here:

Do you agree Alt-J are the 'new Radiohead'? What do you think good music, or simply not heavy enough for Ultimate Guitar? Share your rating in the comments.

50 comments sorted by best / new / date

    why do we need a new radiohead when we already have the original?
    It's like saying QotSA is the new Led Zeppelin, I do believe Alt-J is a new experimental band that will achieve a great status (like Radiohead, thus a new 'Radiohead'?) Anyway, saw these guys on Pukkelpop and it was the best concert of the entire festival!
    Not to mention Thom Yorkes voice. This singers voice in Alt-J is not too smooth. Good, but not great.
    They're not bad, but you can't really compare them to Radiohead. They give a trip hop vibe, the vocals are a bit strange and they don't have that kind of melodic edge. Still, much better than many new acts,I can see these guys putting out something amazing a few years from now..much potential.
    Definitely no Radiohead, but this is the first I've heard from them and it sounds pretty good. And why does something have to be "heavy" to be on UG? You were happy to report on Amy Winehouse, and I don't think anyone could call her heavy.
    Radiohead are the new Radiohead. Just think of how many times they've reinvented themselves.
    No, the next Radiohead are not going to sound like Radiohead at all! Radiohead are praised for being original, and if the "next radiohead" sound very similar then that defeats the point of originality. I would say the closest you can get to the next Radiohead is the album Cosmogramma by Flying Lotus, which Thom York contributed vocals to funnily enough.
    Radiohead have the acclaim they do because they did 2 great classic albums, then broke ground with Kid A. This band are pretty good and are building on that, but it won't ever have the same impact.
    the music resembles radiohead a lot... if all ur doing is comparing voices than ur stupid... same vibe as radiohead, radiohead just has an extreme backing of fans who wouldnt accept that other music is comparable to them.. and i agree but this is a badass new group.. great song
    yeah, I can definitely hear Radiohead, but sounding like another band doesn't really make them the new them. It is more the status and impact that is important, what Radiohead did on OK computer and Kid A added something new to the genres they somewhat fit into. Going off this song they do appear to have a there own sound though, enough to not be a Radiohead tribute act, which is good.
    Yeah agree with this. Just because they take elements from Radiohead doesn't make them 'the new Radiohead'. Not like they called Radiohead the 'new straitjacket Fits' because they have similarities.
    There's a mad hype at the moment for them, but I personally think they're overrated. They're good, but not as great and innovative as everyone in the UK is making them out to be. Regarding rebreh's comment, there's an art to making great pop tunes as well as 'avant-garde trappings'. Radiohead are lucky to have mastered both.
    They sound a bit of a parody of them from that song, i'd have to listen to more. Radiohead has a massive history, give them a few years and they might live up to it, but well have to see.
    this article almost looks like an ad for the band lol theyre okaaayyy i guess. nothing like radiohead though. real radiohead wouldnt try to copy another band.
    So a Bookie on an online gambling site says Alt-J sounds like "The New Radiohead" and its news. I feel so sorry for all the other news articles that didn't make the front page because of this...
    Nobody is the new Radiohead because Radiohead was the new Radiohead. That being said, I'm gonna have to check out more of Alt-J's music.
    Alt-J are the new Alt-J and Radiohead are the new Radiohead. Mercury Prize is a load of dogshite anyway.
    From what i've heard of them... No... Now Pineapple Thief, they are far closer to a Radiohead sound
    Ok, that said, I'm liking that tessellate song, but the rest doesn't really do it for me. Maybe they'll grow on me?
    Carl Hungus
    The music is not bad. Just close your eyes and imagine that Kermit the Frog is singing. Kinda fits.
    Radiohead is seriously one of the most overrated bands of the last 20 years. Kid A is in my top 20 albums of the decade but the rest of their work is, as music critic Scaruffi aptly described, pop tunes with avant-garde trappings. As soon as Coldplay starts adding Autechre into their ballads music critics will hail them as the greastest band ever.
    The mix of "pop tunes with avant-garde trappings" always worked somehow. The Velvet Underground, for an example...
    What's wrong with being a "pop band with avant garde trappings"? They are experimental music with a pop sensibility. What's cooler than that?
    Not radiohead, but pretty good. I was fully expecting some sh*tty stereotypical hipster-rock song.
    It's tough to call a band "the new Radiohead" when Radiohead are so experimental and have gone through so many phases as a band. The band that recorded "Pablo Honey" is a lot different than the band that recorded "OK Computer" and "Kid A" and so on. They've evolved over the years which is one of the reasons I love them.
    It's the British press trick of build them up, knock 'em down. Just sport for some jaded hacks.
    I can see why there'd be a quote from Labrokes saying they are the favourite to win the Mercury prize, but the rest would be better from some kind of music source. They may as well have said "It will be a huge upset if Alt-J don't win, but I think they'd be able to keep up with the hare the greyhounds are chasing. Sadly we had to shoot the drummer after he fell over in a horse race"
    i'm guessing that in the above picture, the one guy looking into the camera is also the guy that sings on this tune
    I feel sorry for them if they are though it's more likely some bell-end who made the association.
    I wouldn't call them the next Radiohead exactly, though I guess there's some similarities in feel. I will say An Awesome Wave was an excellent album. One of my favorites of the year.
    Never really been a big Radiohead fan but I quite like this band. Or this song at least. Not big on the vocals though.
    I think they;re saying 'new radiohead' in terms of being innovative and trying something different. Radiohead are critically acclaimed by making popular albums which were popular due to their musical brilliance and experimentation, the same reason as An Awesome Wave, and Alt-J for that matter, are still amazing today