Looking back through previous Music Maven posts, it would seem like I don't listen to any American artists. I swear I do...just not at the moment, apparently.
Like most attempts to neatly slot a band into a musical category, there's never going to be 100% agreement, but most identify London Grammar as "trip hop", which is often defined as "the fusion of hiphop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable." I know that sounds bizarre, but the end result is a sound that is incredibly captivating. Other groups recognized in this genre include Portishead, Phantogram, Thievery Corporation, and Stateless, to name a few.
The UK trio released their debut album, If You Wait, in September of last year and took the indie music scene by storm. As Pitchfork noted, "when an album is proclaimed the frontrunner for the UK's Mercury Music Prize before it's even released, it's a sign of both the accelerated nature of the modern hype cycle as well as a vote of confidence in a band's ability to deliver the goods." (Emphasis added.)
Reid's distinct tone and soaring vocals have generated some associations with Florence and the Machine, though it could just as easily be her sense of urgency and raw emotionalism encouraging these comparisons. Her ethereal-yet-still-powerful voice alone is compelling enough reason to give the album a listen.
Critics of the album have suggested it lacks a bit of dimension, but I think this could just as easily be reframed as it being cohesive and consistent. Regardless, it's powerfully emotive and captivating.
A haunting and heartbreaking cover of Miley Cyrus' "Wreckingball." London Grammar's version is so good you will almost forget how sick you are of all-things-Miley...And no, I'm not being ironic.