is schooling the bloody hell out of us with dismal yet elegant ballad pop on their debut LP, If You Wait
. This fashionable trio emerged from the London fog and into the bright strobe lights of Ministry of Sound, whose record label signed the group in 2012. Since then, they've released an EP Metal & Dust
, landed a guest track on Disclosure's chart topping Settle
, and last September released their first full length album in their home country.
Like a really aggressive Chinatown massage, some things just hurt so good. If You Wait
is exactly that kind of album — it's mellow, dark and depressing, but still accessible in that it could transcend into our own real-life experiences. "Hey Now", is like a funeral scene that suddenly develops into a cheerful musical celebration of life. "Stay Awake" and "Nightcall" have a similar build to them, as they start off with a hollow sad sound that slowly fills with piano and guitar that lift you out of the somberness of the song. "Interlude" is so heart-wrenchingly depressing in its entirety, however, that they found brightness in the following track, "Flickers", which is the most upbeat track on the album.
Although vocalist Hannah Reid's bellowing voice is an enormous component of London Grammar's sound, the instrumental style provided by her partners Dan Rothman and Dominic 'Dot' Major is what brings her eerie mood to epic perfection. If You Wait
is a series of constant builds on chirpy guitar and echoing piano, that sound like the endless extension of "Spanish Sahara" by Foals that we always wanted. London Grammar is cunningly taking us over, as the quiet prowl of every song seals Reid's howling tones into our unsuspecting ears. Like those previously mentioned, questionable massages, we expect London Grammar to have a very happy ending.
If You Wait
is out now in the U.S. Get your copy here