The debut album from these University of Nottingham graduates is a real treat. Expected (albeit to no avail) by many to make the Mercury Prize shortlist, it has catapulted London Grammar into the limelight.
London Grammar’s origins are humble. Having met at university (a very good one, so they say) in 2009 thanks to a certain social networking site, vocalist Hannah Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman started collaborating. Soon, the multi-talented Dot Major was added and London Grammar were formed. After a series of small local gigs (the first taking place at Lenton’s Bag O’ Nails), it took them until 2012 to release ‘Hey Now’ online, which has now reached well over one million hits. From here on in, success was inevitable.
With vibrant vocals, mystical melodies, and captivating crescendos, the eventual musical storm of each and every track is completely fulfilling. Hannah Reid’s voice evokes memories of Florence breaking onto the music scene, and is a perfect match for London Grammar’s somewhat different take on music. This alternative style is what they are becoming known for, and they have managed to prove the critics wrong by staying on the right side of gloomy.
These University of Nottingham graduates (wow, maybe our degrees are worth something!) also trick listeners into mistaking them for The XX, particularly on ‘Shyer’. Furthermore, they have a certain similarity to Disclosure, shown by the two-piece band featuring the Grammar trio in their track, ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’, which, interestingly, is included on the album that led to Disclosure’s nomination for a Mercury Prize.
Be warned, London Grammar are certainly not for everyone. ‘Strong’ and ‘Hey Now’ are the tracks most likely to convert the unsure so start with these. On the outskirts of mainstream music, London Grammar are doing a fantastic job of bringing much needed variety, and perhaps change, to British music, and long may they continue to do so.
…James has been listening to To Kill A King – ‘Cold Skin’…