Last Wednesday in Dublin’s beautiful Olympia Theatre, London Grammar made their eagerly awaited return to the capital after playing an acclaimed set at this summer’s Electric Picnic. The three piece indie pop outfit from Nottingham are currently in the process of touring their most recent album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing. The album, which was released in early June of this year, immediately went to number one in the UK charts. The album would spawn five singles, with the most impressive of which being the moody and atmospheric, Non-Believer. It was soon clear that the band were going for a fuller, more introspective, sound than had been heard on their 2013 debut album, If You Wait.
London Grammar would beginning to come to people’s attention when 12 December 2012 would see the band release their first song on YouTube, Hey Now, the song would receive a lot of attention and slowly an excitement would start to develop around the talented trio.
It would be followed in February 2013 by their debut EP, Metal & Dust, and then by the single Wasting My Young Years in June of the same year. September would be a busy month for the band in 2013, with the release of the popular single, Strong, on the first of the month, and then the debut album, If You Wait, on the sixth of month. The release of Strong would four remixes and an unreleased song Feelings,which would go on to be this writers favourite release by the trio.
If You Wait would go on to be a critically acclaimed LP by the band, and mark them out as one of the most exciting new groups in the UK music landscape. It looked like London Grammar were about to take off, but then things seemed to stall for them.
I seemed in early 2014 that things were going swimmingly for the band, but in a 2017 interview with Hannah J Davies of The Guardian, the band would explain that the whirlwind of a year that the band had been having had been having a negative effect on their personal lives. The last straw was when vocalist, Hannah Reid, decided last minute to pull out of tour of Australia in July 2014. The band would go on to postpone subsequent dates, citing “vocal fatigue”, but that was not telling the whole story. Reid had been feeling exhaustion for a while before they eventually decided to take a break, while Major and Rothman confessed to feeling that they had been drinking to much for the duration of an extensive American tour that they had just finished.
The band would take some time to reschedule the cancelled tour dates and rest before launching into working on Truth Is a Beautiful Thing in early 2015. On 1 January 2017, the band would premier the first single from the album, Big Picture, before the official release of the album in June.
Much of what makes London Grammar a compelling act to listen to is Hannah Reid. The chilling soprano vocals of the unassuming front woman are succeed in drawing the listener into every song in the bands discography. It seems incredible now that there was a time when Reid suffered intensive stage fright which had prevented her from performing for years. Fans of the band can feel thankful that she managed to overcome her stage fright, and the reasons are showcased to telling effect in one of the singles off their most recent album.
London Grammar manage to mix captivating and intensive vocals with dark and moody instrumentation to create songs that cause deep thinking and introspection.