London Grammar – If You Wait
Maybe I’m wasting my young years. Maybe we are.
Were it not for an ad placed by drummer Peter Criss in Rolling Stone, the world would not have been graced by the musical stylings of Kiss. Flash forward 40ish years and the world has Facebook to thank for bringing together Hannah Reid and Dan Rothman, 2/3 of London Grammar. Rothman and Reid attended the University of Nottingham, and it was a picture of Reid on Facebook with her guitar that inspired Rothman to ask her to collaborate. Multi-instrumentalist Dot Major was added later after being introduced to the band by Rothman’s girlfriend. While a single with the inexplicable staying power of “Rock and Roll All Nite” is still forthcoming, these three finding each other is an exciting and promising music story for 2014.
If You Wait opens slowly with “Hey Now,” showcasing Reid’s soaring vocals over bass drum heartbeats and bare guitars. Her voice is oft-compared to nearly every contemporary female vocalist, for me I get a lot of Florence Welch, however Reid is more nuanced. Her voice has unquestionable power, but it’s when she chooses not to use it that you really notice.
The album really takes off with “Stay Awake.” Reid inflects emotional pleas very well, and this track is no exception, mixing her fractured but strong vocals with a driving cymbal and tom beat. Like countrymen the xx, London Grammar use silence and breakdowns well. Something as simple as a loan piano chord can provide the most memorable moment.
The standout track, and probably the one that will propel this band to the next level, is “Wasting My Young Years.” Building from just piano into a driving epic, it showcases everything that London Grammar is about. If there is any justice in the world, London Grammar are the next big thing and band to watch in 2014. The xx were a sub-headliner at Coachella 2013, it’s easy to see London Grammar reaching similar heights over the next few years.
If you’re only going to buy one track: Wasting My Young Years
You might like if you like: the xx, Polica, CHVRCHES
Local info: Playing the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis April 3rd w/ Vancouver Sleep Clinic. $13/$15