It’s hard to believe that the British trio’s debut album If You Wait came out all the way back in 2013. It hasn’t really felt like they’ve left the music scene despite over four years between albums.
This steady momentum has meant the hype for their sophomore release is extremely high. When your debut is as good as London Grammar’s was, the difficult follow-up effort is always going to be a tall task. The good news? London Grammar have absolutely knocked it out of the park with Truth Is A Beautiful Thing. Mainly because they haven’t tried to change the recipe that made album number one so ridiculously impressive.
Instrumentalists Dan Rothman and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major create stunning soundscapes that underpin vocalist Hannah Reid’s sublime voice, allowing it to take centre stage. There’s no denying that her crazy range is the real selling point of the band. It’s what sets them apart from anything else out there at the moment.
Rooting For You has been receiving airplay for a while and it’s a beautifully understated track that lets you know the whole album will again, like the first, be putting Reid’s voice at the forefront and using instruments in a subtle way to let it shine. A voice this good forces you to pay attention, absorbing the lyrics in a way you might not for other artists.
Big Picture is a prime example of the record’s lyrical power, learning to see an experience for what it was in the context of everything else in life. Wild Eyed has a beautiful synth drum mix that’s laced with keys to brilliant effect, while Bones of Ribbon builds and changes repeatedly throughout.
It’s worth seeking out the deluxe version because some of the tracks, most notably a demo called Trials, are particularly strong. It may be only half way through 2017, but this is a weighty contender for album of the year.