London Grammar – “Strong”
Pairs Well With…Portishead, Annie Lennox, Florence & the Machine
It’s the voice that really grabs you. London Grammar frontwoman Hannah Reid carries a soaring vocal throughout their debut LP If You Wait, hitting on borderline operatic tones amongst classical-inspired lines. It’s something else, and makes London Grammar stand on top of the SXSW pack – my first “10” of the bunch. Musically, the electronic pop band spends most of the time encircling trip hop forms, very much in the vein of a softer version of Portishead. If You Wait ends up being a pretty diverse record, shining when the band discovers the minimal side of pop music to allow the bulk of the emotional weight to fall on Reid’s vocals. This is a new discovery for me, but British OEB fans have probably been borderline overexposed at this point – the record opened at number two on the UK charts. Above all, I can’t imagine London Grammar’s live set to be anything short of enthralling and they belong amongst the top of the SXSW heap when planning your schedule next year.