Explosions of 2013 /// London Grammar


Exquisite, lush, soulful pop music made with talent and a unique twist is the thing rare and thus valuable. London Grammar might yet have been a new name on the UK scene when they graced it with their appearance, but it didn’t stop them from taking the world by storm. The band’s debut album ‘If You Wait’ was released in the autumn 2013 and turned the trio into one of the biggest UK collectives in the blink of an eye.

Vocalist Hannah Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman met while at university in 2009 and bonded over mutual love of music immediately, while multi-instrumentalist Dot Major joined in later on drums to round-up the future phenomenon. They started jamming together and crafting the elegant breed of pop music which was later destined to become their trademark. Since that time the ball got quickly rolling for London Grammar as the band’s obvious talent couldn’t go unnoticed for a long time. After just a couple of shows they got noticed by Ministry and signed to the label immediately.

After inking the deal with Ministry, London Grammar got, most likely, the most valuable thing for an up-and-coming band: unlimited time to write a debut album. They spent 18 months preparing their masterpiece of a debut being total perfectionists and polishing every single note. This attention to details and no wish for compromise are the necessary components of the band’s working ethics which make a great difference on London Grammar’s debut offering as long as in all their creative work. Carefully crafted and beautiful ‘If You Wait’ came out in September 2013 and changed London Grammar’s world instantly: they became bigger than anyone could have imagined.

While labelled as a pop group, London Grammar have a truly classical feel to their songs, which are not exactly pop as we know it. Their sound revolves around the piano – the driving force of the band’s melodies, supported by gentle guitars and percussion. Minimalistic approach to making music with an exquisite, classical touch is the main side of London Grammar that sets them aside from a lot of pop outfits of today. While a lot prefer to use as many computer effects as possible, London Grammar follow the principle of less is more and strip their songs back when the musicians feel they sound too artificial. That’s why their music is full of heart, soul and feelings which are not hidden behind fake computer schmucks. London Grammar have good melodies and strong musicianship which shows in every song, so they can afford to strip them back and not fear to sound boring.

Another special side of London Grammar is Hannah’s vocals. Her performance is inspired by classical pop vocalists and takes a different look at female vocals of today. Hannah’s strong, soulful voice makes a perfect companionship with piano-driven melodies and is the final icing on this delicious music cake. The lyrics inspired by the vocalist’s personal experiences shift this listening even more into the level of a very personal perception with a great deal of intimacy involved.

A bit melancholic, but lyrical and incredibly beautiful, London Grammar’s music is a new word on the music scene of today. There’s simplicity which we often lack and need in music and it’s good to see this new band confident enough to do with the minimum of instruments and still produce fantastic, atmospheric tunes.

Find London Grammar on Facebook


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