“A captivating, quasi-religious experience”

Clara Dijkstra reviews the new London Grammar single, 'Truth is a Beautiful Thing'

Source: Wikimedia Commons

London Grammar released ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’ on March 24th, the third tantalising single to be unveiled after ‘Rooting for You’ and ‘Big Picture’. The track acts as a preview to their new album of the same name, due to be revealed on June 9th. The London-based trio rose to fame with their album If You Wait in 2013, which included the highlight ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and the band’s poignant version of Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’.

This latest single clearly reflects the style of their first album, showing notable similarities to the songs ‘Interlude’ and ‘Stay Awake’. The song is marked by singer-songwriter Hannah Reid’s ethereal, echoing vocal, which is thankfully not overwhelmed by the simple piano accompaniment and subtle clear electro beats. The lyrics are addressed to that elusive ‘you’ present in all London Grammar songs.

There may not be much that is new in this single, but yet again the band manages to capture feelings of intense yearning, loneliness and pain. They conjure such feelings without falling into the same trap of many songs which fit under the ‘emotions & piano’ umbrella, which can tend to convey a Kodaline-like self-pity, or a vaguely overwhelming torrent of feelings as seen in the likes of Adele.

London Grammar’s distinct approach can be heard through the sheer simplicity of ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’. The recurring lyrics of ‘to hold your heart, to hold your hand’ and ‘I do not think you’d take this pain’ give the track a rhythmic, almost hymnal quality. Repeated echoing piano chords and distant delicate electro sounds make listening to the track a captivating, quasi-religious experience. The uniqueness of their music makes it difficult to compare London Grammar to any other bands; they sound similar to Tom Odell with an electro-spin, or some Bat For Lashes songs with a more haunting feel.

Ultimately, ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’ is a non-radical release which serves to confirm the singular path which the British trio is on. However, it definitely increases anticipation for their new album, as well as their appearances at Glastonbury this June and Lollapalooza Paris in July.