English trio London Grammar combine sparse electronic pop in the model of the xx with dramatic, big-voiced lead singer Hannah Reid's vocals, which evoke Annie Lennox and contemporaries like Florence Welch and Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes. Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman met in the dorms of Nottingham University, where they began writing music together in 2009 and later added multi-instrumentalist Dot Major to complete the lineup. The following years saw them refine their sound with atmospheric electronics and subtle percussion, and they often played to rooms of no more than ten people. Their popularity rose with the 2012 release of "Hey Now," which they uploaded to the Internet, instantly finding a digital cult following. Their fans were not just in the U.K., but also on the other side of the world in Australia, where their self-released 2013 debut EP, Metal & Dust, reached the top of the digital charts. The same year they signed to Ministry of Sound and the single "Wasting My Young Years" appeared as their first release on the label. The year 2013 also saw them play a sold-out show at the Islington Assembly Hall and make an appearance at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton. In September 2013, London Grammar released their eagerly awaited debut album, If You Wait, with the album debuting on the U.K. album chart at number two and hitting the Top 20 in Australia, New Zealand, France, and Ireland. With the album receiving positive reviews, the trio headed out in support of the release in 2014, culminating in two sell-out shows at London's Brixton Academy. That same year they also picked up two Ivor Novello awards for the single "Strong," as well as two AIM awards for Breakthrough of the Year and Most Played Independent Act. After a whirlwind 2014, the trio retreated into their normal lives, rekindling friendships and writing new music. At the beginning of 2017 the group released the first fruits of those sessions: the single "Rooting for You," followed a month later by the Jon Hopkins-produced "Big Picture." Two more singles followed -- "Truth Is a Beautiful Thing" and "Oh Woman Oh Man" -- before their sophomore album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, was released. Working with the likes of Paul Epworth, Youth, and Hopkins, the album saw the trio taking their sparse electronic pop into more cinematic territory.
© Scott Kerr & Rich Wilson /TiVo