Single Review – London Grammar – Big Picture 

The Nottingham based trio have released their second single of the year with ‘Big Picture’ in the lead up to an as yet unnamed album. Their new single is a little more typical of their sound in that the spaced out riffs and echoed piano chords are the mainstay of the it. This sound does lift as the song goes on, followed by the harmonious howls of Hannah Reid. It signals a small hint of variation with their upcoming album, but as beautiful as their sound is, another If You Wait will be the safe if not successful avenue. 

Owen Riddle 

Single Review – London Grammar – Rooting For You 

The Nottingham based trio are back with their first new material since 2013’s If You Wait. That was Album praised for its delivery and emotive imagery, but was seen as lacking in vitality and dynamism. It is hard to tell from their new track ‘Rooting For You’ if they’ve addressed the latter, for it is a swooning track with limited instrumentation aside from a delicate riff, piano nudge and some feathered string sections. It is chiefly a track to showcase Hannah Reid’s deep and at times ethereal vocals. There is little much to add beyond that, for we know how good she is and she seems to have improved further, but perhaps we’ll have to wait for the next track to see what the rest of the album may look like. 

Owen Riddle

Moushumi – Red Like Mine EP Review

Moushumi is a twenty two year old singer songwriter from Brooklyn who provides music of sweeping and rolling atmospheric soundscapes in a similar style to London Grammar, whose sound influences her music. She has recently released her debut EP entitled Red Like Mine in which she delivers these aspects of her sound in conjunction with her soft, wistful vocals and sharper edged instrumentation. ‘Alone’ is a track that best encapsulates all of the qualities of her sound as her vocals gently roll across the direct percussion and the steady, rumbling electronica. She achieves a great balance between intimacy and power in this track as the loosely produced elements of the track push forward that sweeping quality in an all encompassing manner. Songs such as ‘Stay’ are more subtle and maximise the soft tinged vocals of Moushumi as it’s surrounded by airy riffs and easy percussion. This heightens the focus of the lyrics and the emotive message behind them, matched by the emotive setting.

‘More’ swings back and forth between the fluttering riffs and snap of the percussion before being bridged by her sweeping vocals, a reverberating bass line and high pitched, understated synth. Each element plays off the other well and this also helps the song’s progression and development. In general, it is a cool and slick track delivered with an understated confidence that is present throughout the EP. Each track is made up a different instrumental variation to form a different type of soundscape with her fluid vocals being one of the only mainstays. She’s also shown that to deliver an album of perspective such as this, that making some elements bolder highlights those that are supposed to spaced out and this has given her more to work with as opposed to ensuring everything is spaced out. With this in mind, the simple and complex aspects of Red Like Mine are not only more prominent, but more appreciated too.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

London Grammar – If You Wait Review

There’s been a fair bit of fuss over the trio from Nottingham whose single: ‘Strong’ I took a look at a week or two ago. Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman make up London Grammar who have been flirting with the attention of Radio 1 listeners and other general ‘mainstream’ stations which seems a little peculiar to me given the highly considered at atmospheric sound they create. Hannah Reid is their main vocalist and utilises her low yet calm vocal to steer the songs and it wouldn’t be wide of the mark to say that their songs are generally structured around her and atmospheric quality; but can they maintain that core trait and still make the album intriguing and fresh with each track?

‘Strong’ features faded and washed out synth sounds with the slight churning beat in the background along with gentle percussion. There are also some piano chords and subtle riffs thrown in there to try and engrave a tune out of the gentle wave of sound. There’s no doubt that it’s been recorded and produced in such a fashion to showcase Hannah’s voice to its fullest and it works in that respect with her whirring vocal that replicates the sound. Its a pretty decent song with it’s classical and sound scape elements all channelled through a minimalistic approach which means that the space is used well and each part has a more important part to play like Hannah’s vocal. The same approach is used with ‘Wasting My Young Years’ but it develops with the percussion kicking up the rhythm up another gear on the chorus which works well against the typical soundscape elements of the verses until the guitar ushers it into the chorus with the gradual build up of sound. The piano amplifies the classical parts more but despite the subtle changes, the focus remains on Hannah’s vocal and she adapts it well while maintaining it’s dramatic and whole quality.

The title track doesn’t really get any special treatment in particular and is perhaps more an atmospheric ballad than anything else again with a minimalistic approach and the focus on the vocals. ‘Metal & Dust’ opens with churning and distorted synth sound then from the opening of the vocals there is a rhythmic electronic beat and the song is pretty much all electronic as it subtlety shifts in tone and feel while always maintaining the dramatic and atmospheric qualities they’ve kept throughout the album. The album doesn’t have massive shifts in sound, tone or style but the atmospheric (again) quality they’ve created they do to a very high standard even if there is a lack of variety. But having said that it’s a decent debut nonetheless.

London Grammar – If You Wait = 7.5/10

Images from www.telegraph.co.uk / prettymuchamazing.com

Single Review – London Grammar – Strong

London Grammar are a trio formed in Nottingham with Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman as it’s members. They generally plug a spaced out, electronic sound with a certain ambience and refined production to it with vocalist Hannah; usually the focal point of the tracks with her deep and whirring vocal style. They’ve also appeared on Disclosure’s Settle from earlier on in the year. The song features faded and washed out synth sounds with the slight churning beat in the background along with gentle percussion. There are also some piano chords and subtle riffs thrown in there to try and engrave a tune out of the gentle wave of sound. There’s no doubt that it’s been recorded and produced in such a fashion to showcase Hannah’s voice to it’s fullest and it works in that respect. It’s a pretty decent song with it’s classical and sound scape elements and I can think of far worse things being played on Radio 1 right now so have a listen.

http://youtu.be/6drfp_3823I

Image from www.telegraph.co.uk