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LISTEN TO THIS REVIEW
If You Wait - London Grammar
Buy If You Wait
Release Info

Album: If You Wait
Release Date: Out now
Label: Metal & Dust Recording Company

Band Members

Hannah Reid
Dot Major
Dan Rothman

Biography


English trio London Grammar combined sparse electronic pop in the model of the xx with dramatic, big-voiced lead singer Hannah Reid, whose vocals evoke contemporaries Florence Welch and Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes. Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman met in the dorms of Nottingham University where they began writing music together in 2009 and later added multi-instrumentalist Dot Major to complete the lineup. The following years saw them refine their sound with atmospheric electronics and subtle percussion and they often played to rooms of no more than ten people. Their popularity rose with the 2012 release of “Hey Now” which they uploaded to the internet and instantly found an online cult following. Their fans were not just in the U.K., but also on the other side of the world in Australia, where their self-released 2013 debut EP Metal & Dust reached the Top 5 of the iTunes chart. The same year they signed to Ministry of Sound and the single “Wasting My Young Years” appeared as the first release on the label. 2013 also saw them play a sold-out show at the Islington Assembly Hall and make an appearance at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton

Reviews

September 11th, 2013. By James Bale for whatculture.com

London Grammar are a trio from London, England comprising of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dot Major. To date they have released three singles and EPs: Metal & Dust, Wasting My Young Years, and Strong. If You Wait is their debut album and was released on 9th September. London Grammar are one of the few bands I have heard of late who have really dragged me into their musical spell. A combination of ambience, trance and a classical aura create an intoxicating blend which somewhat demands you to listen to them. Their Soundcloud page and them featuring on Disclosure’s No.1 album pulled me into their sound – demanding my attention, and subsequently my adoration.

‘Hey Now’ is the first track we encounter and sets the mood for the whole album. It is chilled, relaxing and enthralling. Hannah’s vocals are similar to those of Florence Welch from Florence & the Machine if you haven’t heard of them before. ‘Stay Awake’ features mellow guitar riffs alongside a powerful cymbal and snare combination carrying the track through. ‘Shyer’ offers a main picked guitar riff and subtle synths in the background pushing the song forward. Hannah’s voice is uniform throughout all the songs meaning they flow excellently between one another. ‘Wasting My Young Years’ is an orchestral ambient masterpiece and one of the best songs from this glorious album. Slow mellow guitars combined with piano and violins thrown in for good measure. The song lifts in tempo in the middle and then drops back into the acoustic for the latter part. Brilliant. ‘Sights’ starts with piano chords and echoing guitars fading in the background as more instruments flow in creating an atmospheric backing for the vocals to punch through.

‘Strong’ is the true masterpiece here though. It has everything they have to offer in spades: amazing vocals, fantastic instrumental parts and just screams excellence throughout the 4:35 duration. One of the best songs of the year by far. ‘Nightcall’ is a simpler song – a cover version of French house artist Kavinsky – featuring mainly piano and Hannah’s voice pushing through and commanding the song. Towards the end it features a more upbeat drum section than previously heard throughout the album. ‘Metal & Dust’ was the band’s first single and is more upbeat compared to some of their songs, but works well as an up-tempo number. ‘Interlude’ combines piano, vocals and a light drum exploit and shows off their talent as a live act as well as a recorded one. ‘Flickers’ has a South American vibe with the inclusion of bongos which add to the overall sound and progression of the song -  slightly different to the rest of the album, but works incredibly well. ‘If You Wait’ is the final track on the standard album and starts off chilled and ambient. The sound of the piano cuts through the echoing backing with the vocals piercing through. A great way to end an album.

September 10th, 2013. By Sassy for undercover.fm

We have been obsessed with London Grammar since we heard “Hey Now”, now FINALLY they have released their debut album “If You Wait” and Australia was lucky enough to score it before both the UK and the US. Let me tell you now - the hype surrounding “Hey Now” was nothing compared to what you can expect from the rest of the album.

Trio Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman have created the ultimate indie spin-off with the inclusion of electronica and a slight folk edge.

The album’s first single “Hey Now” can only be described as devastatingly beautiful however each track resonates more powerfully than the next.

“If You Wait” can be characterised by heartbreak and despair, some reviewers have labelled this as London Grammars downfall – however we see it as their greatest strength. This is an album that masks you with sensations, you feel every word, you understand every emotion and you almost become entranced by the delicate wash of synths. Never before have we seen such chilling beauty in digital tracks.

The instrumentals on each track sound almost as bittersweet as Reid’s fleshy vocals. The piano seems to chime an eerie melody while the guitar sounds subtly yet at the same time obviously provide the dramatic edge. These soundscapes are almost luring and not unlike a lullaby. The textures in the tracks flow more delicately between each song, it is spell binding. However perhaps the most dominant track on the album is “Nightcall” there is something varied about the songs progression that makes it stand above the rest.

It’s probably been said already but London Grammar are definitely not of this world. There is something completely angelic about their sounds which you would almost consider a god send.

“If You Wait” can be defined as an album that makes you stop what you’re doing and listen, intently and passionately.

Song to listen out for: “Nightcall” because it is by far the most impassioned and expressive song on the album.

September 9th, 2013. By Danny Wright for thisisfakediy.co.uk

The shimmering, glacial vocals of Hannah Reid are hard to miss. It’s at the very heart of what London Grammar do, and mean there’s a stillness to 'If You Wait' which helps to elevate her voice further, as it shines and controls most of this debut album.

There are worse things of course. Controlled and captivating. though never approaching Florence levels of histrionics (who she is often compared to), it’s a voice of beauty. The xx comparison is a little easier to understand – theirs, London Grammar, is a mature-beyond-their-years sound.

They release this debut album in the kind of odd position that only really the internet era has presented. They posted debut single ‘Hey Now’ online last December, and it’s since had over a million listens online. EP 'Metal & Dust' followed in February, they've recorded two live sessions for Radio 1, and had a featured slot on Disclosure‘s debut  album all before this.

It means there’s a weight of expectation to the record yet it’s one that feels unfazed by anything other than creating their own world. 'Hey Now' fits perfectly as the album's opener, widescreen and yearning. It sounds good enough to be on 'Moon Safari', and is a perfect set up for what’s to come.

It’s ‘Shyer’ which sounds closest to The xx with its shuffling percussion and there’s that same hopeful smudged sunlight lighting up most of the track. Things get a bit more propulsive with another cut from the EP, ‘Wasting My Young Years’, with Reid’s voice winter-like before a thudding beat comes in. It sounds like an early 90s club track and shows why the Disclosure collaboration worked so well.

What guitarist Dan Rothman and multi-instrumentalist Dot Major do best is to never be afraid to leave space in the songs, to make room for that pregnant pause. It’s the restraint which works well. A plucked guitar backs up Hannah's quivering voice at the start of ‘Strong’, a spine-tingling coming-of-age tale.

The cover of Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’ is a nice touch though seemingly unnecessary (though it does remove some of the seediness of the original). Elsewhere the starkly beauty of ‘Interlude’ and odd percussion and backing vocals of ‘Flickers’ are highlights. The record ends with the title track and Reid in the spotlight for the final time as she asks her lover to wait as the song launches off slowly in to space, orbiting slowly.

London Grammar have created an album of graceful sophistication. That it never ventures far from its chosen path makes you wonder where their next move will be but for now this is more than big, tender and beguiling enough.




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