When London Grammar first popped up on our radar with the enchanting “Hey Now,” P&P’s Constant Gardner called them “yet another fairly mysterious band fronted by a siren voiced female, making slow building, haunting pop music.” Those seeking answers and possessing the ability to Google the words “London Grammar” may have happened upon the amusingly succinct summation of the band on their Facebook page: “A trio from London.”
The allure of unknowing around “Hey Now” lingers, but has been peeled back a bit with the release of “Metal & Dust,” the pretty, deceptively intricate A side of the band’s soon-to-be-released 7″ single. “Metal & Dust’s” arrival was accompanied by a press e-mail that laid out a bit more detail about the trio and their ascent:
“London Grammar are Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman who formed the band while at university together. After being holed up in the studio for most of 2012 working on their debut album, the band dropped their first offering ‘Hey Now’ on their Soundcloud in December receiving over 260,000 plays to date.”
For a group garnering serious buzz for their first (and, until this week, only) song, it seems a bit too simple to give up the goods in such an unceremonious fashion. While veils and limited biographies aren’t necessary when the music is strong, there was a certain allure to the simplicity of London Grammar’s presentation pre-press e-mail: Music first, everything else after. Their web presence is still a tight closed-loop that leads you at almost all points back to the band’s catalog, lying front and center on their refreshingly straightforward website. It’s not as if the members have suddenly had their life stories exposed; scant, humanizing contextual details about where the members met don’t detract from what make “Metal & Dust” and “Hey Now” compelling, but it does take a bit of the fun out of the mystery that London Grammar has so far effectively wielded to focus attention on art above all else. Regardless of their PR campaign, it appears that the band’s upcoming album will be one of the most intriguing and talked about debuts in 2013.
Listen to “Metal & Dust” below.