London Grammar @ SXSW | Review

Considering what they’ve done, it’s hard to believe London Grammar released their first album If You Wait a mere six months ago.  It featured their already-popular EP Metal & Dust from earlier in the year.  Immediately, they were on the radar, hitting the top of the charts in UK and Australia.  One more example, last week they opened for Coldplay.  Yes, really.  It sounds beyond ludicrous that they have already had so much success, until you hear them.

Following Hannah Reid’s {vocalist} and Dan Rothman’s {guitar} meeting in—you guessed it—London, they picked up Dominic Major a year later who plays drums, djembe*, and keyboard.  Hannah’s presence is a force to be reckoned with, blending the range of Florence Welch with the brooding huskiness of Lana del Rey.  Their melancholy beauty isn’t far off the mark from The xx—if you like one, I guarantee you’ll like the other.

The band, who writes the songs collaboratively, describes the songs as “emotionally affected.”  There’s no attempt to appeal to mainstream expectations or conform to catchy bridges that are the empty makings of so many manufactured pop artists today.  They brought across the pond uninhibited talent and nothing else.  Put this album on:  If you’re going through a breakup**, wanting to boost creativity, need mellow music to work to, or are having a particularly good/bad day.  Just put the album on. 

 

*A djembe (/ˈdʒɛm.bɛ/ jem-be) (also spelled djembé, jembe, jenbe, djimbe, jimbe, or dyinbe[1][2][3]) is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa.

**Particularly useful if you were dumped.