Album review: London Grammar – If You Wait

by Stella Yanakieva


London Grammar can be defined as a mix between Florence + The Machine and The XX.  This promising new band made their start in Brighton and now they’re off to touch people’s hearts around the world with their beautiful music.  ‘If You Wait’, their debut album, came out on September 9th and it’s already said to be one of the best albums this year.  An angelic composition going forward and back in between Earth and Heaven, it easily leaves you with the impression you want to listen it all over again.

‘Hey Now’ starts as a greeting to an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time.  Could it be a lover from the past? Or maybe a lover-to-be in the future.  The perfect prelude to an album that slowly unfolds as a whole-heartedly sung confession.  Changing different states of emotions, the music gradually suggests that it’s a heartbroken voice that brings it to life.

The climax comes with ‘Wasting My Young Years’, a song written by the vocalist, Hannah, about her ex-boyfriend.  ‘You’ll never know what was like to be fine’, taken from the lyrics.  The song implies that she was the one more dedicated to their relationship, and it’s usually the one who’s more in love that suffers greater.  Young hearts tend to be more vulnerable, both half-ready for love and half-ready for pain, two things that usually come hand in hand.  The use of ‘fine’ itself rings an alarm. ‘Fine’ always indicates a problem, ‘fine’ means ‘okay’ but not ‘great’.  All people in love should be happy, not okay, nor even great.  Otherwise, it really does mean wasting our young years.  A truly wonderful song with a powerful meaning.

‘Strong’, on the other hand, sounds like an ode dedicated to mankind, much like an accusation against people nowadays for listening but not hearing, for looking but not understanding, for talking but not thinking, and also for not loving and caring enough. The song puts you in the middle of a crowded street, overwhelming you with a sweeping feeling of sadness as each passenger goes without a hint of joy in their eyes, caught in the middle of their own routines.

Whoever stops and contemplates how beautiful this world is nowadays?  Life can be defined as truly wonderful experiences and we should acknowledge that more often.  So is art, for that matter, and artists like London Grammar deserve to be known worldwide since they are not only making music, but also carrying life lessons. To continue this line of thought, ‘Flickers’ is a reminder that we don’t choose our destiny, but destiny chooses our paths, even if we have the power to make some of the choices.

All in all, if you’re a fan of good indie bands, London Grammar has everything to make you to fall in love with their music! And if you like live gigs, you can get yourself a ticket for Oran Mor on 27th of October when this awesome band is due to visit Glasgow.

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