We’re a mere eleven days into the New Year, and already excitement is in the air for long-awaited album releases. The London/Nottingham indie pop trio that stole 2013 and made it their bitch, London Grammar have finally released their first piece of original music for over two years, in the form of brand new track ‘Rooting For You’.
The vast majority of the UK and beyond, fell head over heels in love with London Grammar, particularly the sublime vocals of Hannah Reid, back when they debuted in 2013 and after releasing a list of singles from their first LP, they appeared to hibernate away, without mention or appearance until now.
We assumed that they’d be away, carefully crafting a second album that would stand up to its predecessor and surpass it, maintaining their stature and credibility. ‘Rooting for You’ appears to be the perfect choice to do exactly that, with a darkness and a danger in its minimalist style.
For more than two minutes, Reid has nowhere to hide as she sings completely unaccompanied, bending and manoeuvring her voice, reaching ambitiously high notes one second and swooping down to her signature tone, full of bass and depth the next. Her vocal strength is what made her so popular and transformed their earliest singles into millennial anthems.
Out of the dark, a full band joins her and with strings and pianos, and the track grows into a little more of what we may have expected from them, a more comfortable and familiar place for us to rest after the vulnerability of their reintroduction in the first couple of minutes. It grows and develops and the song has become a rollercoaster of emotion, before terminating in a soft ending, again led mainly by vocal brilliance and beauty.
It’d be ridiculous to say something cliché like “they’re back with a bang” as that doesn’t do it any justice at all. The song is like being kissed with a sledge-hammer, it’s a love letter with a suicide note written on the other side. It’s a reassuring sentiment from a friend or lover, but packaged in self-doubt and fear. We can all relate to that though surely? Doing your best to help the people you care about whilst being terrified of your own ending, rooting for them whilst hoping somebody is doing the same on your behalf. Either way, one thing that’s clear is that this carefully orchestrated return, from choice of single release, to presentation, to timing, just everything has been done perfectly and re-solidified London Grammar as one of the biggest talents in the UK, or maybe even the world. 2017 could be their year and I hope it is too. I’m excited to see what comes next and you should be too.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)