Let’s contextualise capital trio London Grammar’s spiralling ascent to the vertiginous apices of mainstream intrigue a moment, shall we? Their latest, Wasting My Young Years, was uploaded to the band’s SoundCloud some fifteen hours ago, has been aired 17,297 times at this acute point in time and has been snagged by no less than sixteen blogs plugged into the Hype Machine. That’s over a post an hour, inclusive of a nighttime. And those are some incontrovertibly impressive figures right there. Personally, I’d have scribbled something or other of it sooner had I not (somewhat ironically I suppose, given its title) been out at British Sea Power when news of a new stream oozed on through via every social media channel imaginable.
Of course they’ve emphatically laid the foundations with previous singles Hey Now and Metal & Dust, and their third is rigidly in keeping with the woebegone melodrama they so avidly favour, in that it maintains the minor key melancholia of the latter and marries it with the pared back minimalism-via-maximum impact of the former. It’s a ballad in short – one which sounds at once redolent of Tears for Fears’ Mad World. And hyperbolic though it may appear, it’s none too tricky to envisage this one enduring a similar timeframe to enjoy a comparative timelessness. Hannah Reid’s vocal is gently nudged – perhaps begrudgingly – to the forefront, and forms quite the centrepiece about which surging guitars and vivid keys whir like smudged headlights blotched on windows weeping drizzle. All of which makes for a somewhat disorienting listen, not least as although musically quite static the emotivity within accelerates as the troupe approach a crescendo few contemporary British artists are capable of producing. Utterly irreproachable. Again.