It’s been a long time coming for London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait - or at least it feels that way. The band released their illustrious beauty of a debut single “Hey Now” just under a year ago…so why am I so hyped and pumped for this album? Maybe it’s the 4 breathtaking singles they released intermittently throughout the year, or the Disclosure track that lead singer Hannah Reid offered her softly commanding voice to. All the while, the English indie pop trio still remained in a cloud of secrecy. Who were these guys? And why are they so stinking good?
This album was pretty much Stoked on Arrival for me, it’s everything I imagined it to be and more. Of course, vocals play the star of each song as everything else just sits and melts in uniform around it. Reid’s voice? It’s like crack, crack from a far distant galaxy where only devastatingly beautiful things exist. And I can’t stop smoking it. That’s not to say that Dan Rothman (guitar) and Dot major (keyboard/percussion) can’t share the spotlight with Reid. Their arrangements are definitely on point, they manage to stay right in that sweet spot between simple and overbearing. As you know, I will go to the ends of the earth in the name of minimalism, and these guys seem like they would too. Listening to this album is like watching a film, every note and every word is so goddamn sensory that I can feel my mind wrapping around each track like a story.
It feels like I compare every band with The xx, and LG will be no exception. Shyer sounds like a play taken straight out of the Coexist playbook (Reunion, to be more exact). I ain’t even mad though, since Shyer is probably my favorite track off the entire album. Anything that makes me want to dance and break down emotionally has win all over it. Stay Awake comes at a close second with its fantastically simple instrumentation and sorrowful yet inspirational vocals. Though If You Wait is good, it isn’t perfect. Nearing the end of track 7, their haunting rendition of Kavinsky’s Nightcall, I find myself wandering off and quickly losing enthusiasm. The last three tracks seem to drift off into the ether, and I don’t care much to go searching for them. But I must say that the first 6-7 tracks are immaculate, and I will be sinking into them for the next couple months or so.
Purchase the album here.
Excuse me for a while,