London based trio London Grammar, comprised of university friends Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman are a breath of fresh air in a music scene that’s saturated with radio-friendly guitar bands and 80s obsessed synth fanatics. Their debut EP ‘Metal & Dust’ is a delicious slice of understated ambience; spread across four tracks,  it’s a complex amalgam of excellently produced drum sounds, powerful vocals and fragile guitars that blend together to form a record which is impressively immersive.

The titular track ‘Metal & Dust’ has already garnered nearly 90,000 plays in it’s first week of being uploaded. Reid’s vocals at first brings to mind Ellie Goulding, however there’s a depth to her voice which is intrinsic to the song’s overall aesthetic. The lyricism of the song might be simple but it works perfectly while the instrumentation creates a swirling soundscape in which the vocal track takes a back seat in favour of a fantastic string section and some equally impressive drumming.

Like ‘Metal & Dust’ before it ‘Hey Now’ is understated and expertly crafted. Musically it sounds like something found on the soundtrack to The Garden State, which is by no means a bad thing, a muted guitar is picked throughout while occasional drum fills punctuate the verses giving the song a little texture.Reid’s voice here  is, at times, husky, adding to the songs timbre, while for the most part it sores to dizzying heights in a dynamic that’s vaguely reminiscent of Florence Welch.

The inclusion of a remix on an EP is a risky move, often used as filler, however the remix of ‘Hey Now’ feels more like an extension of the original song than it does an all out remix, which,is how a good quality remix should feel. The drum production across the remix is of the same quality as the rest of the record. Just after the two minute mark there’s an unwelcome inclusion of what could only be called a breakdown, which doesn’t suit the overall feel of the rest of the song. Fortunately that doesn’t last all that long and the track quickly resumes it’s high standard.

 It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what London Grammar sound like. There’s a multiplicity of different influences at play across the whole of ‘Metal & Dust’, but luckily it never comes across as erratic or without flow. The whole record glides to its conclusion and takes the listeners with it. Without a doubt, London Grammar are definitely a band to watch over the forthcoming months, and will be a welcome inclusion to any of this year’s festival line-ups.

About The Author

Dave Beech

Having spent my formative years torn between crying in my bedroom to tedious early '00s emo records and playing in a couple of terrible punk bands, I decided I was far better suited to writing about music than playing it. Now, approaching my mid-twenties all of a sudden, armed with little more than an unhealthy penchant for sarcasm and an acquired taste for warm cider, I can mostly be found haunting the unsigned circuit of Manchester as often as I can the city's bigger venues, championing those bands who don't quite get the attention they deserve, as much as panning those who get too much. Twitter: @dave__beech